A Very Flexible Courgette Pasta sauce

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Ah yes I am still harvesting and relishing those little (and not so little) courgettes. I still have quite a few recipes up my sleeve to share with you. I got a Very Useful Tip Off from Sue at The Quince Tree who pointed me in the direction of the Hugh Fearnly Whittingstall recipe for courgette pasta sauce. It sounded perfect….however…..I didn’t have all the ingredients hence the title of this post. That’s the beauty of the humble courgette; it is very understated and is just at home with creme fraiche as it is with tomatoes. So here is Sue’s/Hugh’s Courgette Sauce Recipe followed swiftly with my own….

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Slice up some courgettes with some thinly sliced garlic and sweat slowly in some olive oil and butter until they start to look meltingly delicious and a bit gooey.

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Add some freshly grated parmesan and a good dollap of creme fraiche and mash with a fork or potato masher. You can also add some crispy bacon too.

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Delicious, quick and easy peasy BUT…… if you don’t have creme fraiche, parmesan or bacon (like me when I wanted to make it the first time) try this……

Go with the sweating gently of the courgettes and garlic until meltingly delish. Then, add 2 tins of tomatoes and a dash of Plum Sauce (if you have it). If you haven’t got Plum Sauce and are calling me names at this point just remember this is a Flexible Sauce! Use something else or leave it out altogether. The courgettes really won’t mind at all. Add any number of veges that you might have lurking with intent in your fridge. Cook them down gently then blend them all together to a thick, tomatoey sauce.  Delicious, quick and easy peasy! Spread on pizzas or use in lasagne. The sky is the limit! Now, if at this point you’re thinking….ah but I don’t have any courgettes….well….. perhaps beans on toast??

If you have courgettes coming out of your ears…..

Courgettes 1

….then do I have a cake for you! I’ve already said how I find harvesting the first courgette from my vege garden one of the most exciting things ever and this year I am determined not to ruin it by getting Bogged Down with a surplus of these little green delights. I’m making a new category about Making The Most of Courgettes! It’ll hopefully be a one stop shop, an answer to the Mayday call of vege gardeners all over the world when their courgettes start to Run Their Lives. So, here is Courgette Recipe #1 which I stumbled upon in a really fabulous recipe book from the Library called A Good Harvest – Recipes from the gardens of Rural Women New Zealand.

Recipe Book

It’s full to bursting with great tried and tested recipes that have been handed down the generations. These are little gems – if they’ve stood the test of time then they must be good.  Everything from Nana’s Cucumber Pickle to Mrs Duckworth’s Tree Tomato Chutney, Jolly Fruit to Silverbeet ChowChow; it’s all in here. But the one for this post is called Zucchini (Courgette) Loaves and it is very wholesome, toothsome and “I want some more-some”. I took one of the loaves round to a Real Life Rural Woman friend of mine and after scoffing a few slices she wanted the recipe! So here it is Mrs Egg (and pass it on to your friends who dropped in for tea and enjoyed a slice and asked for the recipe too!!)

Zucchini Loaves by Margaret Pittaway, National Councillor, Southland and Otago

3 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup oil (I used sunflower)
1 cup of chopped dates
1 cup chopped walnuts (I used pumpkin seeds instead)
2 cups grated zucchini
2 cups sugar

Preheat oven to 160-170c.
Sift dry ingredients into a bowl and then mix all ingredients together. Divide mixture between two lined loaf tins and bake for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

This makes a very sticky, claggy mixture a bit like wallpaper paste (!) for want of a better description so don’t be put off!

Unbaked

Here they are before being baked. I always check my cakes before the suggested cooking time because my oven is a bit of a fiery monster. I also always cover my baking with a sheet of baking paper (this can be re-used indefinitely for other baking).

Cake and Tea

Ah….lovely. Who’d have thought a little green vegetable could be magic-ed into a tasty cake!

Cake

You could always use raisins, currants, sultanas and other nuts. I forgot to mention I put a tablespoon of chia seeds in the mix too. Happy Baking and God Bless the courgette!

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