Spaghetti With Courgettes, Garlic And Chilli Topped With Fried Spinach Balls


The last night out hubby and I had on our own together we went to Carluccio’s for dinner and had this dish.

It was so unusual and gorgeous I set out to make it at home as we don’t get chance to go out to Carluccio’s much now we have two little ones! I modified the recipe a bit due to what I had in, and the fact that I am not a fan of rigatoni and thought it would work better with spaghetti.

Recipe serves 2.



For the spinach balls:
    • 250g/1lb 2oz spinach leaves, washed
    • 1 free-range eggs, beaten
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • 60g fresh white breadcrumbs
    • 25g parmesan, freshly grated
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
For the pasta sauce:
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
  • Half a red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 large courgette, trimmed and finely grated
  • 30g parmesan, freshly grated
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 200g spaghetti



  1. For the spinach balls, cook the spinach leaves in a pan of salted, boiling water for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Drain the spinach well and refresh in cold water.
  3. Using your hands, squeeze out as much water from the blanched spinach leaves as possible, then finely chop it up.
  4. Transfer the spinach to a bowl and stir in the beaten eggs, garlic, breadcrumbs and parmesan. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well until the mixture binds together.
  5. Roll the spinach mixture into walnut-sized balls and place onto a baking tray.
  6. Cover the base of a frying pan in a thin film of olive oil and heat gently over a low to medium heat.
  7. When the oil is hot, add the spinach balls and fry for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until crisp and golden-brown all over. Remove from the pan and place back on the baking tray.
  8. Keep the spinach balls warm in your oven (on a low setting) or be prepared to pop them back in the frying pan to warm through before serving.
  9. For the pasta, put the spaghetti in a pan with some boiling water and cook to packet instructions.
  10. While the spaghetti cooks, heat the oil for the pasta sauce in a separate frying pan over a medium heat.
  11. Add the garlic and chilli and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until softened but not coloured.
  12. Add the grated courgettes and continue to fry for 3-4 minutes, or until the courgettes have started to soften.
  13. Add the parmesan and season, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix until well combined.
  14. When it is cooked, drain the spaghetti (reserving a bit of cooking water) and add to the pan. Add a few spoonfuls of cooking water to loosen the sauce as much as you wish. Mix together well.
  15. To serve, divide the pasta and sauce equally among two serving plates. Place the fried spinach balls on top.

L x



  1. Hello Laurenne

    We had spinach and a surfeit of couchettes so your recipe really fitted the bill. Very tasty.
    Thanks for sharing.


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