Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Cheesy Courgette Pasta Bake

Eurgh, yesterday was so boring compared to the fun of Monday. Shopping, chocolate, new cake tins, a film and the most amazing birthday cake transformed into a mind-numbingly boring assignment. I think I've completed it but it sounds like trash. I know there are going to be many evenings featuring such assignments this coming autumn and so comfort food will be in order. Preferably comfort food with some goodness. Try as I might, I cannot live on chocolate alone. Enter Cheesy Courgette Pasta Bake.
Cheesy Courgette or Zucchini Pasta Bake - pasta baked into a creamy garlic soft cheese sauce and chunky puree. Fine comfort food.

I know a lot of people are fed up of courgette/zucchini recipes now and are all about the autumn flavours of spice, apple, pumpkin and blackberries. Truth be told, although I still have courgettes to harvest and recipe ideas to try, I've already made a list of autumn and winter recipes I want to make. This recipe though is the perfect crossover from fresh summer produce to snuggly autumn cravings. 
Cheesy Courgette or Zucchini Pasta Bake - pasta baked into a creamy garlic soft cheese sauce and chunky puree. Fine comfort food.

It's very adaptable too.The first time I did it, I half followed this recipe and used the suggested mozarella. Verrrrrrry nice. The second time I used a Philadelphia and milk sauce. Have you ever tried spreading a thick layer of Philly on top of a cottage pie and noticed it comes out of the oven like baked cheese cake? Same thing here. So good.
Cheesy Courgette or Zucchini Pasta Bake - pasta baked into a creamy garlic soft cheese sauce and chunky puree. Fine comfort food.

Then I discovered mascarpone. I don't know what to say. I have been missing out big time. Thinned with a little milk and starchy pasta watern it creates the perfect base for this pasta bake. Silky smooth and quietly indulgent, the sauce twists and meanders its way through the chunky courgette puree in a river of creamy satisfaction given body by the slow cooked garlic. Baked to a state of golden bliss this really wraps you up well against the thralls of any seasonal chill. A sigh of release after the stresses of the day.
Cheesy Courgette or Zucchini Pasta Bake - pasta baked into a creamy garlic soft cheese sauce and chunky puree. Fine comfort food.

It would be wise to make a big batch of this and freeze before baking in individual portions to reheat as the situation demands. The greenery of the courgettes adds enough of a healthy kick to satisfy the occasional needs of the body for vitamins and fibre and uses up a dose of the ever present courgettes produced by the plants demonstrating their puppy-like enthusiasm for growth. You can even boost said vitamins and content by adding in extra veg - peas maybe or cherry tomatoes for a splash of colour. Or simply go for another layer of grated melty cheese. Gouda would get my vote.



print recipe

Cheesy Courgette Pasta Bake
Pasta enrobed in a courgette and garlic creamy cheese sauce - the finest of comfort foods for autumn or any night with a bit of a chill.
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp sunflower or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or a squeeze of garlic puree
  • 500g courgettes, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • Sprinkle of salt salt
  • 200-300g pasta shapes
  • 150g mascarpone, cream cheese or mozarella
  • Splash of milk
Instructions
1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion over a medium heat for five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a couple more minutes then add the courgettes and sprinkled over the salt.2. Set the oven to 200 C/180 fan. Continue to cook, stirring every so often and helping the courgettes to break down with a potato masher. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until 2 minutes underdone.3. Once the courgettes are like a chunky puree, stir through the mascarpone, Philly or mozarella and enough milk and a splash of pasta water to make a sauce to your desired thickness. Drain the pasta and stir into the mixture.4. Transfer to an ovenproof dish, top with the grated cheese and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden on top and bubbling.

This Cheesy Courgette Pasta Bake is perfect for this months Eat Your Greens created by Shaheen of Allotment 2 Kitchen who has teamed up with Jacqueline from Tinned Tomatoes to host Pasta Please this month. A pasta dish using a green ingredient? Check.

I discovered the wonders of mascarpone after finding a tub reduced so I'm also entering this pasta bake recipe into Credit Crunch Munch, run by Helen from Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla from Fab Food 4 All. Sarah from Maison Cupcake is hosting this month.

14 comments:

  1. I always have courgettes in my fridge and love pasta dishes so this is a winner! Thanks for entering #CreditCrunchMunch

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  2. Oh yes........ Mascarpone is soooo good in pasta! Pleased to see you have discovered its delight. My courgettes are nearly over...... make the most of yours!

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    1. I'm trying my best to! There are maybe three or four left on the plants but I'm not sure they are going to grow much now.

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  3. This looks so delicious, and I love the short list of simple ingredients. Pinned and tweeted! :)

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    1. Thank you very much Blair =) Hope you enjoy it.

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  4. Yum, that looks good. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!!

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  5. That does look like proper comfort food, I do like to tuck into some cheesy pasta as the nights draw in. Thanks for submitting to Credit Crunch Munch, your entry has now been featured in this month’s round up.

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    1. Thanks Sarah =) I'll pop over and have a look.

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  6. Thank you so much Laura for a recipe that says goodbye to Summer but welcomes in the Autumn. I love the oozy cheese, whether it be mascapone or philly!
    The round up should be up tonight.

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    1. Thanks Shaheen, I'll look out for it. To be honest with you, I'm quite looking forward to eating this again!

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  7. I could never get sick of zucchinis. This dish looks great!

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    1. I've already asked my mum to grow some more for me next year! Glad you like the dish =)

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