Courgette & basil pasta with pesto crumbs recipe

Ingredientscourgette pasta

500g pack penne

5 courgettes, grated

2 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 onion, finely chopped

500g pot crème fraîche

25g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated

small bunch basil, reserve a few leaves for garnishing

85g chunk ciabatta

handful toasted pine nuts, plus a few extra for sprinkling

Method

Slightly undercook the pasta, then drain, reserving a ladleful of cooking water. Rinse the pasta with cold water to cool. Drain again, toss in a little oil to stop it sticking together and set aside while you get the rest of the bake ready.

Fry the courgettes in oil for about 10 mins to drive off most of the liquid; they should reduce down a lot. Add the garlic and onion to the pan, cook for 2 mins more, then season really well and add to the pasta. Stir in most of the crème fraîche and half the Parmesan with seasoning, then tip into an ovenproof dish. Dollop the rest of the crème fraîche over the top.

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Whizz nearly all of the basil, remaining cheese, bread and pine nuts together to make pesto crumbs, then scatter all over the top. Finish with a few more pine nuts. Bake for 20 mins until the topping is crisp and bubbling at the edges. Serve with a few more basil leaves scattered over.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, September 2010