700g raw spinach
half a clove of garlic, minced
1 egg, beaten
pinch of nutmeg
45g Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated
70g dry breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for shallow frying
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
20g red chillies, finely chopped
2 medium courgettes, coarsely grated
240g Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated
To make 28 spinach balls (7 per person):
Boil, but don’t overcook, the spinach in lightly salted water. Press it dry, break open the leaves and tear apart roughly. In a bowl, mix together the torn spinach, garlic, egg, nutmeg and Parmesan. Add about half of the breadcrumbs, to balance the moisture of the mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
Roll one ball and fry it, to test for consistency and taste. (If the mixture is too wet, the ball will fall apart during cooking, but too much bread content will lessen the spinach flavour.) Add some more breadcrumbs or seasoning if needed. Fry until golden. Set aside.
To assemble the dish:
In abundant salted water, boil the pasta until it’s al dente, perhaps 10-15 minutes. Drain and keep warm.
In a pan, melt the butter and heat the garlic and chillies. Add the grated courgettes and fry for a minute or two. Add the cooked pasta and toss in most of the grated cheese (leave some for serving). Season with salt and pepper.
Serve in a deep plate or shallow bowl with a sprinkle of the spinach balls and the remaining Parmesan.