So… you buy a ton of tomatoes. You spend a day or so roasting them veeeeeeery slowly in your oven. Then you bottle them in olive oil. But then comes the hard part: what to do with them? Of course, the easy option is simply to eat them out of the jar when nobody is looking (be careful not to dribble oil on your clothes in the process as this is a dead giveaway as to what you’ve been up to…)
Another option is pizzas (but more of that later) and yet another option is to eat it with some of the rather yummy pasta you brought back from Rome and that’s too good to smother in a creamy sauce. Although I am usually first in the queue when it comes to creamy pasta sauces, there are some nights when I actually feel a vague twinge of guilt about all the calories I’ve consumed and I do my best to come up with a non-creamy pasta sauce that’s still tantalizing.
Which is how this dish came about. It’s healthy, it’s full of lovely robust flavours, it’s colourful – and it it takes all of 10 minutes to prepare.
What more could you want from a dish?
SLOW-ROASTED TOMATO AND ZUCCHINI PASTA (serves 2)
Enough pasta for 2
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1 large zucchini
about a dozen slow-roast tomatoes
about a dozen pitted black olives (optional)
extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
Prepare the pasta according to the package instructions.
Wash and slice the zucchini lengthwise into 0.5cm thinck slices, then cut each slice into 2 cm pieces. Heat a little olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan, add the zucchini pieces and sautee on high until the edges of the slices have begun to blacken slightly. Turn the pieces over and repeat on the other side. Then add about 2 Tbsp more oil and, the herbs, the garlic (and olives, if using) and turn the heat down to medium. Allow to cook for a few more minutes until soft enough for your liking, adding the tomatoes near the end just to heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Drain the pasta and return to the pot, then add the tomato and zucchini together with the olive oil to the pasta. Stir to mix and serve immediately, topped with shavings of Parmesan cheese.