Adding raw grated veg is an easy way to bulk out a cooked meal as well as give it texture. It’s also a good option if you want to disguise vegetables from veg-haters, young or old! I’ve used little star-shaped pasta, stelline, as it cooks quite quickly, while ready-made passata makes a convenient base and speeds up the preparation time, too. I often add lemon juice or zest to tomato-based sauces and soups to give a brightness and freshness of flavour, and a pinch of sumac has a similar effect.
100–125g (3 ½ –4 ½ oz) dried pasta, such as stelline, orzo, trofie or short-cut macaroni
500ml (18fl oz) passata – 1 large courgette, coarsely grated
1 large carrot, coarsely grated
1 small handful of mixed herbs, such as basil, parsley, thyme, oregano and marjoram, finely chopped
few pinches of sumac – salt and pepper
Cook the dried pasta following the packet instructions, then drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, pour the passata into a large saucepan and add the grated courgette and carrot, then simmer for 5–10 minutes until the vegetables have softened but are still al dente.
Stir in the herbs, cooked pasta and season to taste with salt and pepper, then simmer for a few more minutes until heated through. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle over a pinch of sumac.
Fresh herbs bump up the health value of any dish – adding antioxidants, vitamin K and vitamin C.
Extracted from Savour by Amber Locke. Available here.