For the spinach balls

500g/1lb 2oz spinach leaves, washed thoroughly, tough stalks removed

2 free-range eggs, beaten

pinch freshly grated nutmeg

1 tsp garlic infused oil

110g/4oz gluten free white breadcrumbs

50g/2oz parmesan,  freshly grated

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2-3 tbsp olive oil

For the pasta sauce

8 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp garlic infused oil

1 chili, finely chopped

2 zucchini, trimmed, finely grated

60g/2¼oz parmesan, freshly grated

salt and freshly ground black pepper

400g/14oz gluten free pasta, cooked according to packet instructions, drained

Serves - 4


For the spinach balls, blanch the spinach leaves in a pan of salted, boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then drain well and refresh in cold water. Using your hands, squeeze out as much water from the blanched spinach leaves as possible, then finely chop the spinach.

Transfer the blanched, drained spinach to a bowl, then stir in the beaten eggs, nutmeg, garlic infused oil, gluten free breadcrumbs and parmesan. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well until the mixture binds together, adding more gluten free breadcrumbs or more water, as necessary, to bind the mixture.

Roll the spinach mixture into walnut-sized balls and place onto a baking tray. Cover the base of a frying pan in a thin film of olive oil. Heat gently over a low to medium heat.

When the oil is hot, add the spinach balls, in batches if necessary, and fry for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until crisp and golden-brown all over. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper. Keep warm. Repeat the process with the remaining spinach balls.

Meanwhile, for the pasta sauce, heat the oil in a separate frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chili and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until softened but not coloured. Add the zucchini and continue to fry for 3-4 minutes, or until the zucchini have started to soften.

Add the parmesan and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix until well combined, then stir in the reserved cooking water from the gluten free pasta and the cooked, drained rigatoni.

To serve, divide the gluten free pasta and sauce equally among four serving plates. Place the fried spinach balls on top.

Recipe adapted from: Good Food
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