There seem to be days when time runs away from me, and suddenly it’s almost 6 o’clock and I have literally nothing – not even an idea – to show, dinner-wise. It’s days like these when I thank heaven for pasta, and knock up a quick vegetable sauce to go with it. Bam! On the table in 15 minutes…
Often, these last minute suppers aren’t really the sort of culinary masterpieces that I would share. The most basic version is pasta, pesto (from a jar) and some frozen peas. Add grated cheese if you’re feeling elaborate. But this courgette and cherry tomato pasta was really, really delicious, and super-simple to make – win-win! Hence, I share it here in all its glory.
Kipper, upon learning that one of the ingredients was harissa, made a big fuss about how she didn’t like harissa and it was too spicy. This despite having already eaten half of it. She went on to clear her plate, but made sure to point out that she was only eating it because, “I don’t want it to go to waste, Mummy.” Yeah, right. That child has never eaten something she didn’t like in her life! She was also very encouraging about sharing the recipe on here – “Put the recipe on your blog Mummy!”
In actual fact, you can barely taste the harissa, but it does give a gentle sizzle of spice along with the garlic, and makes this courgette sauce so tasty. The feta cheese was a last minute addition, but its salty tang is the perfect foil to the buttery, sweet courgettes. Yum.
I grated the courgettes in the food processor, so this really was a super-fast meal. If you had to grate them by hand, I suppose it would take a bit longer.
I’m glad to have this in my arsenal of quick dinner ideas. It beats pasta and pesto hands down!
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- 180-200g penne (or other short pasta)
- 3 large courgettes (approx 750g)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 25g butter
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 0.25-0.5 tsp harissa
- 100g cherry tomatoes
- 75g feta cheese, crumbled
- Put the pasta to cook in a large pot of boiling water, as per the pack instructions. Meanwhile, make the sauce.
- Wash and trim the courgettes and grate using a food processor.
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet or wok, and add the grated courgettes, crushed garlic and harissa. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes until softened.
- Halve the cherry tomatoes and add to the courgette mixture in the pan. Continue to cook for another minute, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat and keep warm.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain it well and mix with the courgette sauce.
- Serve at once, with crumbled feta sprinkled over.