Courgette flower pasta bake

    1 hour 30 min

    For a special vegetarian meal try this pasta bake with courgette flowers, tagliatelle and bechamel. You can replace the smoked scamorza with any other semi-soft cheese.


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    Ingredients
    Serves: 8 

    • 250g courgette flowers
    • 3 eggs
    • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    • 350g smoked scamorza, cubed in 1cm pieces
    • 500g curly tagliatelle or other egg pasta
    • 1 knob butter for the pasta
    • For the bechamel
    • 70g butter
    • 70g plain flour
    • 700ml milk
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

    Method
    Prep:1hr  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:1hr30min 

      Make the bechamel sauce

    1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour. Stir with a whisk to prevent lumps and cook a few minutes until it thickens in a roux. Pour the milk, a bit a the time, cook on medium heat, always whisking, until it thickens in a sauce. Add nutmeg and stir.
    2. Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6. .
    3. Pass the courgette flowers under running cold water and remove the internal pistil. Place 1 or 2 scamorza cubes inside each courgette flower. You'll use about half of the scamorza. Set aside.
    4. Beat the eggs with half of the grated Parmesan.
    5. Cook the tagliatelle in salted water for half of the time suggested. Drain the pasta and toss with a knob of butter, the eggs and half of the bechamel.
    6. Pour a couple of spoonfuls of bechamel on the bottom of a baking dish and add 1/3 of pasta. Cover with the half the courgette flowers, one close to the other, making an even layer. Cover with a ladleful of bechamel, some cheese and 1/3 of scamorza. Proceed the same way creating a second layer and finish with a third layer made of pasta, bechamel, scamorza and grated cheese (no courgette flowers on top).
    7. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Then transfer on the top rack and grill for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, let rest for a few minutes and serve.
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