Long, slow cooking develops the sweetness and depth of the tomatoes, and baked zucchini, basil and parmesan rounds out a damn good dinner (Photo: Emma Boyd)

Recipe: Tomato pasta sauce with baked zucchini

A simple, well-executed tomato pasta is a thing of beauty.

This recipe is for those days when culinary inspiration just won’t strike, and if you’ve got a garden full of ripe tomatoes, it’s a great way to use them up (if not, a couple of tins of tomatoes work well too). With few ingredients, the long, slow cooking develops the sweetness and depth of the tomatoes and results in a beautiful sauce that’s perfect topped with baked zucchini and shavings of salty-sweet parmesan cheese.     


Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil + extra for drizzling over the zucchini
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1kg tomatoes, roughly chopped, or 2 x 400g tins tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 large handful black olives, stones removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup herbs, finely chopped (I used a mix of basil and parsley)
  • 2 silverbeet leaves, finely shredded
  • 750g zucchini, finely sliced

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over a medium-high heat and fry the onion and garlic until translucent and soft.  

Add the tomatoes, sugar, olives and herbs and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and continue to boil to remove any excess liquid before adding the silverbeet and stirring well.  

While the sauce is simmering, lay the zucchini out on two baking trays, drizzle with olive oil and bake until golden and crunchy. Serve the sauce over pasta topped with the zucchini, extra basil and shaved parmesan.  

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