I had some things to use up in the fridge. Treats, not sad leftovers; things that required a loving treatment. There was the rest of the pistachio dressing from my supper last night and half of a gorgeous sunny yellow round courgette that my daughter, Nicola, brought with her at the weekend – grown by her own green-fingered hands in her garden.
There was also over half the huge courgette that Jean-Michel and Claude gave me from their vegetable garden at Manoir de Laize two weeks ago.
I’m amazed at how fresh it still looks; still firm with no markings of discoloration. I’m quite sure any courgette or marrow bought in the supermarket two weeks’ ago would be very sad indeed by now, and probably not edible.
I decided to roast chunks of the courgettes in the oven with the pistachio dressing and serve with some pasta. I added some freshly grated Parmesan cheese to the pistachio dressing and loosened the mixture with more olive oil to turn it into a ‘pesto’. Only two weeks back from France and I’m going Italian again!
First of all I chopped the 2 large courgettes into large chunks. I also chopped 1 red onion into large chunks. I put the vegetables in a roasting dish, seasoned with salt and pepper and then poured over some olive oil and tossed gently with my hand to coat thoroughly. Then they went into a medium hot oven (200C/180Fan).
While the vegetables started roasting, I grated some Parmesan into my leftover pistachio sauce (see Griddled Lamb Steaks with Pistachio Sauce for recipe), thinned with a bit more olive oil as it was very thick, and stirred well.
After about 20 minutes the vegetables were starting to brown, so well on their way to being done. I took them out of the oven and poured over the pistachio pesto and gently stirred it in just a little bit, leaving a good layer on top. I then got the pasta cooking. I used orecchiette but any smallish pasta shape would do.
After about 10 minutes I took the courgettes out of the oven. The pesto had mixed in and the cheese within it had browned into a few nice crunchy bits that dotted over the top.
I drained the pasta when it was al dente and then mixed it with a couple of large spoonfuls of the courgette mixture (there’s about half of the amount left for more leftovers tomorrow, and I think it will be nice cold).
It was very delicious. Quite rich tasting with the pesto but the sauce complimented the courgettes well. The courgettes get more marrow-like when so big and need a good strong flavour with them, I think. You could grate extra Parmesan over the top when you serve it, if you like, but I didn’t think it needed it. Buon appetito!