This tasted very Italian and wonderful. Tomatoes, courgettes, basil and oregano all from my own garden. Fresh pasta from Waitrose, bacon from the butcher’s in the North End road market,
250g fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
2 small courgettes, chopped into small pieces
200g of pancetta or smoked bacon cubed
250 fresh spaghetti
1 fresh red chilli
1 garlic clove
handful of basil
handful of oregano
pecorino or parmesan, shavings
Preheat oven to 220C. Arrange the cherry tomatoes densely on a tray and sprinkle with olive oil. Season. Roast for 15-20 mins so the tomatoes are soft but do not fall apart.
In the meantime, chop finely the garlic, shallot and chilli, fry in a little bit of olive oil for 2-3 mins. Add the pancetta and fry for another 2-3 mins, finally add the courgettes cooking them till they are soft.
Boil water, put the pasta in, bring to boil and cook for 4 minutes. Drain. In a large bowl combine the pasta with tomatoes (don’t forget the juices from the tray), pancetta and courgettes. Add fresh oregano and basil leaves. Serve with shavings of parmesan or pecorino and good Chianti.
This is from a magazine I picked up at the airport and a recipe by MasterChef 2005 winner Thomasina Miers. It is also a bit fussier than I would normally put up with – it was the squash-cumin combination that got my attention. I am told that the effort was worth it, hence blogging it here for reference and others’ enjoyment.
Preparation time: 15 minutes (that’s optimistic, it’s more like 30 minutes what with peeling the squash).
Cooking time: 40 minutes
1 small butternut squash de-seeded and cut into 5cm pieces
1 dried chilli, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
handful of oregano or marjoram
2 red onions, chopped
punnet of baby tomatoes
small bunch coriander, chopped
4 large chorizo cooking sausages, bias cut into long rounds
150g cooked borlotti or pinto beans (I didn’t have any of these so left out, hardly noticed!)
100g Pecorino cheese
Step 1: Preheat oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Put squash, chilli, cumin and oregano in a roasting dish, coat lightly with oil, season. Roast for 15 mins and add onion. Roast for 10 mins then add tomatoes. Roast for a final 10 mins.
Step 2: Pound the coriander leaves to a paste with a pestle and mortar, then add a pinch of salt. Cover with olive oil.
Step 3: Over a medium heat, fry chorizo 2 to 3 mins. Drain.
Step 4: Mix the veg and beans with coriander oil, spinach and chorizo. Add shaved Pecorino and oil.