I can’t quite get my head round the fact that it’s already the beginning of October. Children have started school this week here in Malta and today, poor things, they made their way in the rain. We had quite a storm this morning and this doesn’t make the commute easy for all those who have to walk out the door to work. Flooding affected the usual places and traffic was even more nightmarish than usual. I hope everyone made it to their destination in one piece. It’s Friday once again though, so there’s the weekend to look forward to. Anything to hold on to, to make life better, right?
It’s also the 2nd today and so I’m writing my last post for #PastaFriday, at least for the time being. I like Pasta Fridays and I have gotten used to them. That’s typical for me, because I like routine, but I’m looking forward to baking now, since the weather has cooled down a bit and boy, is it making my life easier! I’m sure you guys who live in hot, humid areas know what I mean. It’s only a matter of finding good new recipes to try, and my list is already getting full! A good thing. It also happens to be the end of Writing 101. Things were hectic for the past few weeks but Blogging Uni was such a learning experience. I still have some pending tasks which I feel I need to do. Those are high on my to-do list at the moment and I am looking forward to see what I can come out with.
This recipe is as simple as the other pasta ones in this series. The best part is the ricotta on the top. Ricotta has been one of my favourite things to eat ever since I can remember. When I was a child I ate it on its own. It tasted milky and so fresh, especially after taking it out of the fridge on a hot summer’s day. I still do that today, with the addition of a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find great ricotta since moving back. The only time I bought it from the cheese counter it tasted terrible and felt like sand in the mouth. I’m disgusted even thinking about it now. Give me a shout if you know of a place where they sell the good stuff. So these days I get it in a tub from the supermarket. It’s good but I miss the fresh offering, as much as I miss those juicy flat tomatoes and the beautiful citrus from the veggie trucks. Such a pity.
I really hope you all enjoyed the recipes in this series. I will try to come up with another new series, perhaps at the beginning of the new year. We’ll see. In the meantime, good luck and see you again next week. Happy Weekend.
Serves 2 hungry people.
- 250g dried trottole or penne
- 1 to 2 tablespoons regular olive oil
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
- ¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- 2 large courgettes (or zucchini), washed and chopped into cubes
- pinch of salt
- 400ml polpa di pomodoro (tinned tomatoes)
- 1 level tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon Maltese Kunserva, or tomato concentrate
- 100g ricotta
- a few fresh basil leaves, washed and chopped
Boil a pot of water and cook the dried pasta according to the packet instructions. I used trottole here, but if you can’t get a hold of them feel free to use penne or any kind of pasta with grooves on the surface.
Place a large shallow pan on medium heat. Allow it to heat up for a couple of minutes and pour in the regular olive oil. Add the chopped onion and garlic and let them sweat. When the onion turns translucent, add the dried chilli flakes, courgettes, salt and pepper. Give everything a mix and wait until the courgettes start to soften. You can check by inserting a fork nearest to the flesh. The middle part of the vegetable will be done before.
When the courgettes are cooked al dente, add the tinned tomatoes, sugar and Kunserva (or use tomato concentrate as a substitute). Add around a third of a cup of pasta water for extra starchiness. Leave the sauce to bubble away on low heat for around 15 minutes, until the liquid starts to evaporate or shrink a little. You will notice this when looking at the sides of the pan. Always taste for seasoning.
When the pasta is done to your liking, add it into the sauce or vice versa, depending on the space you have in both pans and give everything a good mix.
Serve in two large pasta bowls, top each serving with ricotta and sprinkle the chopped basil leaves on top.