While visiting my sister B. in Napoli, she made this dish for us for dinner. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed courgette cooked in this manner. Upon my return, I made it for Mr. GoodEating, who also very much enjoyed it.
This is a traditional Neapolitan dish and it is inherently vegan. It is a savoury and flavourful main dish that is simple, inexpensive, fast and, most importantly, very satisfying. It is also low in calories, yet very filling. In the summer, you could also eat it cold. Add some tofu or tempeh if you fancy. It can be gluten free if you omit the bread crumbs and oil free if you omit the oil.
Serves two as a main.
- 400 g plum/cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if bigger tomatoes
- five courgette/zucchini or a medium sized marrow (or a combination of the two, chopped into 1cm pieces
- one garlic clove, smashed, or one shallot thinly sliced
- 200ml water (or vegetable broth or cube)
- 100ml white wine
- 1 teaspoon asafoetida, optional
- 2 Tablespoons bread crumbs, optional
- hot chilli (flakes or fresh), to taste
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 5-6 basil leaves and/or 1 Tablespoon parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- glug olive oil, optional
You will need a deep skillet for which you have a cover.
Wash the courgette/zucchini and quickly pass a sharp knife over the skin to remove the small fibres atop the courgette (if there are any).
If you are using marrow instead of courgette/zucchini (or a combination), deseed it by scooping out the spongy middle.
Heat the skillet. If you are using olive oil, then add that in once the skillet is hot. If you are going for an oil free version, then use about 1/3 to 1/4 cup of water instead. Add the asafoetida and the clove of garlic in a large skillet. If you are using a fresh chilli, then heat that now too. If you are using the shallot instead of the garlic, then add that in at this time as well.
If you are adding tofu/tempeh, add now. Let the garlic get golden brown and then remove (5 minutes or so). If you are using the shallot, then let that get soft.
Add the courgette and/or marrow, the tomatoes, the wine and the water and cover. Cook over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes.
Cook for an additional five minutes, uncovered, and add the salt, pepper, chilli flakes (if not using fresh), bread crumbs, parsley and/or basil. In the second photo above, I used Sgaia’s seitan pancetta for an added flavoursome element. That is not necessary for this dish to be tasty. If you have some liquid smoke, that would work too, but that is also unnecessary.
Check the water level. If you would like the dish to be soupier, add more water. If you would prefer it dryer, then turn up the heat and let the water evaporate a bit more, minding that the dish doesn’t burn or stick, OR add another tablespoon of breadcrumbs.
When you have finished cooking, add the nutritional yeast and serve. You may also want to add the nutritional yeast atop the dish once you have decanted it to a plate.
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