Penne Giardiniera - Carluccio's

Penne Giardiniera

Penne Pasta with Spinach Balls

Buttery courgette pasta with a fried cheese & spinach ball topping

Penne Giardiniera


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

500g penne pasta

80g butter

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.

Penne Giardiniera



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