I had more courgettes than I knew what to do with last summer so tried inventing a few new recipes. This one went down well with the whole family, even the meat eater. Probably due to the deep deep frying element of the recipe. I based this on a courgette kofta Indian recipe, putting an Italian slant on things by replacing the Indian herbs and spices with something a little more Mediterranean.
Start by making the tomato sauce
2x400g tins chopped tomatoes
3 cloves garlic – finely chopped
Heat 6 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Add the chopped garlic. As soon as the garlic sizzles add the tomatoes, bring to the boil and simmer with the lid off for 20 minutes until nice and thick. Remove from heat.
Now for the balls
3 courgettes – grated and squeezed through muslin or a tea towel to get as much water out as possible
1 small onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 egg – beaten
Salt and pepper
50-100g grated cheddar
Sunflower oil for deep frying
In a small frying pan heat a little more olive oil and fry the onion with the dried herbs until soft. Add this to the grated courgettes, grated cheese and mix. Add the egg, mix again then add plain flour to dry it out a little. Season with salt and black pepper. Mix well then divide the mixture into small balls – each slightly smaller than a golf ball.
Heat the sunflower oil in a deep pan and fry the balls in the hot oil until golden and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper to remove some of the excess oil.
Transfer the fried balls to an ovenproof dish, cover with the tomato sauce and bake at 180C for 20 minutes. While the balls are baking, cook the spaghetti as per the instructions on the packet.
Serve the balls on a bed of spaghetti topped with shavings of fresh parmesan cheese.