There is something to be said for simple cooking, the classic brilliance of old favourites. This dish does not disappoint. Mixed roasted vegetables cooked in a spicy tomato and basil sauce topped with cool creamy feta.
For 2 people:
5 Handfuls of dried pasta (Penne or Fusilli work best)
Half a courgette (Chopped into bite sized chunks)
Yellow pepper (Sliced into cm strips)
Half a Red Onion (Chopped into bite sized chunks)
500ml Jar of Passata
Fresh Basil Leaves
Feta to Crumble over the top (as much as you like)
Fresh Bread (I love ciabatta)
Chilli Flakes (Optional)
Smoked Paprika (Optional)
Crushed Garlic or Garlic Paste (Optional)
Start by pre heating the oven to around 180°C. Place your chopped vegetables into an oven proof bowl and drizzle a light layer of sunflower oil. Add chilli flakes if you wish and add light dusting of pepper. (I don’t add much if any salt to food, this recipe uses feta which is fairly salty)
Once your oven is ready, roast your vegetables for 10 minutes or so until soften and starting to colour.
At this point bring your water to the boil and heat a second saucepan to make your tomato sauce. Passata is a wonderful ingredient, I always have a jar or two handy to make chilli, curry, pasta dishes and various other vegetable mains. It is great on its own but I treat it like a blank canvas. Once your saucepan is warm start to simmer your Passata and add your vegetables when ready. From here you can add Chilli Flakes, Garlic and Paprika to taste. These will depend on the ingredients you have but as a guide I use: 1tsp Chilli Flakes, 1tsb Garlic Paste and 1/2tsp Paprika.
Add your pasta to the boiling water and allow your sauce to simmer. Pasta should only take 10 mins max. Warm your bread in the oven, size depending. Use this time to clean up, chop your basil leaves (keep some to add on top of your dish at the end for decoration) and prepare your dishes. Keep and eye on the sauce, if it is drying out a bit as a small amount of water and turn the heat down a little if needed.
Check your pasta is cooked through, strain and remove your bread from the oven.
Serve your pasta up and top with the sauce. Crumble feta on top to taste and finish off with the remaining basil.