This simple pasta bake has been inspired by our trip through Sicily.
Our visit to Sicily really taught us what difference fresh and quality produce makes to your dishes. In particular, fresh tomatoes. I still remember eating pizza with three types of tomato on Christmas Eve in Palermo, Sicily. One of the best Christmas dinners I’ve ever had.
So the trick to make this pasta bake delicious is to choose a quality tomato sauce as your base. We’ve been experimenting with different tomato sauces and can genuinely taste the difference. Choose a sauce that is either made with organic tomatoes or from a brand that has an Italian background.
Then another thing I’ve learned from our trip through Sicily is simplicity. So this pasta bake centres around courgette, with a bit of red onion and red pepper to help carry flavour. Now for someone who tends to add a LOT of vegetables to her food just because she is addicted to vegetables, with this recipe I really tried to balance things.
Pasta bake with courgette
5 minutes preparation + 10 minutes cooking + 25 minutes in the oven — serves 2 to 3
- 1 red onion
- 1 red pepper
- 2 courgettes
- 220 grams penne
- 1 jar of quality arrabbiata pasta sauce (360-400ml)
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 70 grams grated cheese
- Optional: 1 pack of Unbelievaballs from the Vegetarian Butcher (add them if you want additional protein in your dish, though the pasta bake is delicious on its own)
- Cut the red onion.
- Wash the red pepper. Cut into small bite-sized pieces.
- Wash the courgettes. Cut into pieces of c. 1 cm.
- Grate the cheese.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Preparing the sauce
- Heat some oil in a pan and when hot, add the red onion. Fry for c. 6 minutes until soft.
- Add the red pepper, courgettes and oregano and fry with the onion for another 2 minutes.
- Add the arrabbiata sauce. Fill the jar with water and add to the pan. Cover with a lid.
- Heat the sauce and bring to a boil.
Bringing it all together
- Prepare the pasta bake by putting the penne in an oven dish, add the unbelievaballs on top if using, cover with the sauce, and finish off with the grated cheese on top.
- Cook the pasta bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- Leave the pasta bake to cool for 3 minutes before serving.
Enjoy your meal!
Did you like this?
Leave a comment below if you made this recipe, and let me know what you think. Tips and feedback to improve the recipe are always welcome too!