Courgette, Tomato and Rosemary Fusilli
The courgettes are appearing in the veg bags and no doubt those with allotments will be finding 101 ways to cook them as the season picks up. This simple pasta sauce is basically a tomato sauce flavoured with generous amounts of fresh rosemary and roasted courgettes added later to help retain some of their form. Rosemary can be relied on all year round and enhanced many dishes at Wolves Lane as I cooked lunches for the volunteers through the winter.
Tinned tomatoes are an essential store cupboard staple in our household. So versatile as a base for many dishes and extremely nutritious, counting towards your 5 a day vegetable intake. In fact, the potent antioxidant lycopene, present in the natural pigment of tomatoes, is concentrated in processed tomato based foods like tinned tomatoes and puree so stock up!
3 tbsp olive oil
400g courgettes, 5mm thick slices
½ tsp dried oregano
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
½ tsp chilli flakes
5 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
salt and pepper
400g tin chopped tomatoes
500g fusilli or penne
Preheat the oven to 200C/180 Fan/Gas 6. Put the courgette slices in a large roasting tin and drizzle over 1 tbsp of the oil and season with salt and pepper, mix to coat. Roast these for 20mins until they are soft and beginning to colour. Sprinkle over the dried oregano and put to one side.
In a large frying pan pour in the remaining olive oil, heat over a moderate heat before adding the onion and approx. ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir to coat with the oil and cook for a few minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Then add the chilli flakes, chopped rosemary and sliced garlic, ½ teaspoon of salt and continue to cook until the garlic begins to turn golden. Add the tomatoes and simmer uncovered until the sauce begins to thicken, approx. 15 mins. Taste for seasoning.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to the boil and then add a teaspoon of salt and the fusilli. Stir and bring back to a rolling boil and cook according to the packet instructions. Drain keeping half a cup full of the cooking water.
Add the drained pasta to the tomato sauce and some of the cooking water to help the sauce coat the pasta. Stir together and then add the courgette and gently combine.