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My better half & I planned to do a roasted chicken… & I meditated on what to cook as a partner to the meat. Both of us opted for some vegetables.
One of my latest new members in my cookbook family is Marcella Hazan’s The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, a basic deep dive into Italian cuisine. I browsed in the book & found a great approach to courgette.
At 1st I adjusted the amounts of the ingredients in the recipe because I don’t like leftovers. The crucial ingredient came out to be canned Italian tomatoes. I decided to use a whole can (although small). That’s why in the end I needed about a kilo of courgette. (For 2 people that’s a lot! However, I read that you may store the courgette mess once baked for whatever…)
For the record:
We had a generous side each for our roasted chicken. Some days later we reheated the courgette mess in the microwave & added it to some cooked pasta. All was mixed thoroughly & a thick layer of shredded Gruyère covered everything… Some minutes later a bubbling casserole w/ melted cheese emerged from the hot oven!
W/ the slim green courgette in sight I started preparing a soffrito w/ tomatoes.
What do we need for this basic mess?
It’s not more than:
- canned tomatoes
- flat parsley
- olive oil.
We start w/ mincing the flat parsley as well as cutting the courgette in slices.
We chop & dice the onion & add some cloves of garlic.
We start frying the onion in olive oil until the onion is soft. Next step: pressing the garlic into the fried onion mess & frying somewhat more.
Finally we add the parsley & fry softly some more. (Actually this is the standard soffrito!)
Don’t forget to preheat your oven to 160° C w/ fan!
Then we add the canned tomatoes & their juice & mash them – and fry everything for some more minutes.
The courgette slices march in the pan & are mixed w/ the tomato soffrito until all courgette slices are covered.
It should look like this. The courgette slices are still raw!
Everything is transferred into a overproof casserole…
(The casserole should be large enough for the vegetables – it’s about a kilo courgette!)
Then it marches in the preheated oven for about 45 min.
During the oven session the courgette will lose lots of liquid. The liquid should have vanished almost completely when the baking session is over. The courgette won’t get mushy, but stay as slices although the slices are soft & melt on your tongue.
The courgette are ready for serving now. It’s absolutely delicious to add some fresh basil.
If you use your oven for roasted meat you may add the casserole filled w/ courgette about 45 min before the meat will be ready.
You may also prepare the courgette in advance & reheat for some minutes in oven just before the meat is ready.
The businesswoman w/ too many office hours thinks
So I need to start this tomato soffrito which will add up to about 20-25 min of frying w/ frequently stirring to make sure that nothing will get burnt. Once done the over will take over & I don’t need to take care anymore… Fine.