Tonight’s dinner was brought to you by the contents of my fridge. One of those thrown together meals that actually tasted pretty bloody good.
The basis for the recipe, and the ingredient that I wanted to use was the end of a loaf of bread that had been given to me for my birthday. Yes, my friends know me well and there were a number of food related gifts. Including an amazing Brunch Basket! My gorgeous friend Miri, and her boyfriend Joe, put together a bunch of ingredients that would create a delicious brunch, all in a lovely basket and, whilst I made a good attempt of eating it all, I had some bread and bacon leftover.
Knowing that herby breadcrumbs would go very nicely on top of pasta (and bacon goes well with everything, including in pasta) I decided to go down this route, using courgetti/zucchini rather than pasta and throwing in anything else that I found. This makes the meal really light and fresh and I actually think prawns would have been the perfect accompaniment, a lot better than the mushrooms actually, but hey that’s what we needed to use up. Again, very easy to make vegetarian – just leave the bacon out.
Definitely not a recipe that needs to be followed to the letter – use up the odds and ends you have in your fridge. It is the liquid that will naturally come out of the courgette that will turn into the sauce when mixed with the smashed up cherry tomatoes so if you were doing this with traditional pasta you might like to use some of the cooking water or even add in some passata/tinned tomatoes with liquid.
2 courgettes, spiralized (is that even a word?!)
2 tsp chilli flakes
1 onion, diced
handful of cherry tomatoes (150g?), whole
handful of button mushrooms (150g?), cut in half
2 rashers bacon
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of breadcrumbs or approx 3 pieces of stale crusty bread
dash of cream
6 mint leaves, chopped
salt & pepper
Parmesan or mozzarella (optional)
- If not using ready-made breadcrumbs, roughly cut up the stale bread and put in the food processor. Put it straight onto a high setting until the bread pieces are now a fine crumb.
- Heat butter in a pan. Add the breadcrumbs and 1 clove of garlic stir constantly until nice and crispy. Remove from the heat.
- Put bacon under the grill, turning after 5 minutes.
- Whilst the breadcrumbs and bacon are cooking heat the oil over a medium high heat and add the onion, cooking for 2 minutes.
- Add 3 cloves of the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes before adding the chilli flakes. This is the basis for the “sauce” and you should have some good aromas happening in your kitchen.
- Throw in the tomatoes whole, to the onion and garlic mix, and squash with a wooden spoon to break them up.
- Once bacon is cooked to your liking remove from under the grill.
- Add the courgetti to the tomatoes, heat it through, allowing the liquid to come out and mix with the tomatoes to make a sauce. Season to taste.
- I used the breadcrumb pan to cook the mushrooms separately.
- Add the chopped mint leaves to the cooled breadcrumbs and stir.
- After the courgetti has cooked for about 10 minutes it should be quite saucy and can now be served.
- Make sure you get the liquid from the bottom of the pot and then add mushrooms and bacon to the serving dish as well.
- Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top, a crack of black pepper and any cheese, if using.