I love courgettes. Curries, casseroles, pizza, pasta, salad, roasts…These versatile greens can be added to just about any meal. So you can imagine my delight when my colleague, Sarah, offered to bring me some courgettes that her mother-in-law, Judith, had grown in her garden!
As I was having a quiet Saturday night in front of the television with my boyfriend and best friend, I thought I’d use the courgettes in a hearty pasta-based dish. I referred to a tried and tested recipe from The BBC Good Food website which never fails to please! The sauce is based on a classic Italian tomato and bacon sauce, amatriciana. I used a ham substitute from The Shoreditch Grocery which gave the dish a slight smoky flavour and added a creaminess to the texture. The recipe below made enough for 3 very large portions.
2 tbs olive oil, plus extra to serve
120g vegetarian ham, roughly chopped
4 medium sized courgettes chopped into chunks
2 garlic cloves, crushed
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
A pinch of caster sugar
1 tbs red wine vinegar
2 cans of good quality plum tomatoes (I like to use Tesco finest canned cherry toms)
A handful of fresh parsley, chopped
2) Add the chilli and sugar then stir in the red wine vinegar. Pour in the canned tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, turn up the heat and cook for 10 minutes.
3) While the sauce is simmering, cook the linguine and drain. Toss the pasta through the sauce, stirring through a drizzle of olive oil and parsley.
So I have to say a big thank you to Judith for the delicious courgettes! I’d love to grow my own but as I live in a ground floor flat on a busy road, I don’t think that’s going to be happening anytime soon. Best get saving for somewhere with a garden…!