Serves: 3-4 - Time:
I can’t remember who first put the idea of cheese, n’duja and eggs into my head but I thank them profusely. This is a soufflé with attitude-it packs a punch. If you don’t like heat you can leave out the n’duja ( the spicy Calabrian pork paste) but perhaps add a teaspoon of paprika instead. At the risk of repeating myself, soufflés aren’t as tricky as their reputation suggests. If you can make a white sauce, or béchamel sauce to give it its correct name, and you have an electric whisk you can make a soufflé. A roasting pan of water in the bottom of the oven is always a good idea as the steam creates the perfect conditions for a good rise.
- 460g courgettes, about 2 medium-sized
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 80g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 65g flour
- 450ml milk
- 140g grated parmesan cheese
- 1 ½ tablespoons n’duja paste
- 5 eggs, separated
- Heat the oven to fan 180˚c, mark 6. Place a roasting pan filled with about 3cm hot water in the bottom of the oven. Generously grease a one-and-a-half litre soufflé dish with butter. Put the grated courgettes into a sieve and sprinkle over the salt. Leave for 20 minutes. Meanwhile you can make the soufflé base.
- Melt 60g of the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for one minute. Gradually beat in the milk until the sauce is smooth and thick. Cook, stirring over a low heat for 3-4 minutes. Take off the heat and stir in the cheese and n’duja. Leave to cool a little while you deal with the courgettes.
- Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the courgettes. Heat the remaining 20g butter in a frying pan and sauté the courgettes, stirring them often, for 4-5 minutes. Tip them into the soufflé base mixture and stir. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary (it shouldn’t need much, if any, seasoning). Beat in the egg yolks.
- Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Carefully fold them in the cheese mixture. Spoon into the prepared soufflé dish. Run a knife around the edge of the soufflé mix, about half a finger deep, which will ensure an even rise. Place on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until risen and with a bare wobble. Serve straight away.