Spaghetti with Tomato, Courgette and Basil – The Perfect Summer Pasta Dish
This is a really fresh tasting summer pasta dish that has all the wonderful flavours of the Mediterranean. Basil always has that power to transport you to somewhere sunnier. You could also use mint, like they do in Sicily, as it goes so well with these flavours. I couldn’t think of better ingredients, more redolent of hotter climates, to liven up dreary Britain with this favourite summer pasta dish.
This sauce can be served as a lovely vegetable dish, without the pasta. For a simple lunch dish you could serve it at room temperature, with some crusty bread and a bit of cheese, or charcuterie.
200g Spaghetti, I use De Cecco.
250g good cherry tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 small dried birds eye chillies, broken up (optional)
small bunch basil, about 20 leaves picked off
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Remove the top of the courgette. Slice in half lengthways. Then cut into quarter of a centimetre slices on a slight diagonal.
Take a heavy based pan that can accommodate the sauce, and eventually the pasta. Add the olive oil, garlic, chilli, tomatoes and a good pinch of salt.
Put the lid on and set it over a low heat. The pan must have a heavy base so the garlic doesn’t burn. The idea is for the garlic to cook slowly in the oil without colouring. After 5 – 10 minutes the tomatoes will burst open and begin to break down.
Now add the courgette and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the courgette starts to soften as well.
The sauce will be more watery now on account of the vegetables cooking. Take the lid off and cook it for another 10 minutes or until you have a fairly thick sauce. You may want to turn the heat up a little.
Meanwhile cook the pasta. Just before you add the pasta, stir in the basil leaves.
Slightly undercook your pasta so you can finish it in the pasta sauce, along with a little of the cooking water to help create a luscious sauce.