Quick & easy, this delicious cherry tomato and courgette pasta can be ready in 15 minutes. Bursting with veg, and topped with tasty feta, its a fabulous family meal!
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…
Fast and tasty
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 cherry tomato and courgette pasta was really delicious, and super-simple to make – win-win! So I’m sharing it here in all its fast-and-tasty glory.
Help from harissa
My daughter Kipper, upon learning that one of the ingredients was harissa – a spicy North African chilli paste – made a big fuss about how it was “too spicy“. This despite having already eaten half of her portion of tomato and courgette pasta!
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.” HA! That child has never eaten something she didn’t like in her life! It’s just as well that I trust her actions, rather than her words.
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 adds a salty tang which is the perfect foil to the buttery courgettes and sweet-sharp cherry tomatoes
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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Quick courgette and cherry tomato pasta
- 180-200 g penne (or other short pasta) (approx. 1¾-2 cups)
- 3 large courgettes (approx. 750g or 26 oz.)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- ¼-½ tsp harissa
- 100 g cherry tomatoes (approx. ½ cup)
- 75 g feta cheese, crumbled (approx. ½ cup)
- Put the pasta to cook in a large pot of boiling water, as per the pack instructions.
- Meanwhile, wash and trim the courgettes and grate coarsely 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 courgettes and tomatoes.
- Serve at once, with the crumbled feta sprinkled over.