So, it's summertime, which means in the Christoforou/Creed household we have more courgettes and tomatoes than we know what to do with.
We bake them, we fry them, we eat them raw, we put them in salads, we make sauces and we generally eat them till we can’t stand the sight of them.
This dish came about by me wanting to use up some delicious fresh grown ingredients but also having a mad craving for good old pasta and cheese.
Super simple, let it all roast together, toss with some pasta, add some cheese, and you're good to go!!
Prep Time : 10 minutes (Plus 20 minutes cooking time)
Serves : 4
Difficulty : Easy
2 large/medium courgettes - cut into cubes
15 cherry tomatoes - cut in half - (I used a mixture of colours and sweetness for variety)
2 cloves garlic - thin slices
330 gr dried pasta - I go for Shells, lots of little pockets for sauce to collect in
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Handful of fresh basil
1 ball mozzarella
1- vegetable or chicken stock cube
1 packet of Parma ham/ Prosciutto or Serrano ham - torn into medium size pieces
1 - Preheat the oven to 190*c.
2 - In a roasting dish put the courgettes, tomatoes and garlic, and drizzle over the olive oil, balsamic, a few of the basil leaves and the rosemary, salt and pepper to personal taste and make sure everything is evenly coated.
3 - Roast in the hot oven for approx. 20 - 25 minutes, until the veggies are starting to cook well and there are juices at the bottom of the pan.
4 - Meanwhile cook the pasta to packet instructions in some boiling water with the stock cube. Once cooked drain, reserving 1 ladle full of the pasta water.
5 - In a large pan (frying pan/sauté pan, or even the pan you cooked the pasta in, whatever you have that fits is fine) tip in all of the veg and juices from the roasting dish, along with the ham and the reserved pasta water, tip in the pasta and toss to coat everything evenly. Tear over the basil leaves and mix in too, reserving 4-5 of the small leaves
Taste it, if you think it needs more salt and pepper than add it till it suits you.
6 - Tip the lot into a serving dish and sprinkle over the remaining leaves, tear up the mozzarella and place on top.
7 - Derve with some garlic bread or toasted ciabatta, and eat the lot!
Dont be upsetti - eat some spaghetti
This also works well as a spaghetti or linguini dish.
If you want to mix it up, use multi coloured pasta, it looks great on the plate and adds another flavour profile.
If you fancy elevating the flavours to the next level, add some sliced chorizo into the veggies and bake together, or even some Nduja sausage for a firey smooth kick. This will create a more oily sauce (as the sausages will drop oil when being cooked) but creates a lovely flavour.
This may be cheesy, but I think you’re grate
Mozzarella not your thing? (Why? Ehat is wrong with you?) you can use other types of cheese, halloumi, or salted firm ricotta are delicious grated on top, as is Parmesan.
If you want a real treat, then add some soft goats cheese for a more tangy kick (note if you do this, change the salt content to taste.)