Savor the Season: Courgette and Tomato Pasta Bake


As the bounty of summer graces our tables, there's no better way to celebrate the vibrant flavors of the season than with a comforting and hearty Courgette and Tomato Pasta Bake. This delightful dish takes advantage of fresh, sun-kissed tomatoes and tender courgettes (also known as zucchini), blending them seamlessly with al dente pasta and a medley of aromatic herbs. Baked to perfection, this pasta bake embodies the essence of summer, capturing the essence of sun-ripened produce in every bite. In this article, let's explore the culinary wonders of this mouthwatering Courgette and Tomato Pasta Bake, a dish that not only satisfies the taste buds but also warms the soul.

Savor the Season: Courgette and Tomato Pasta Bake

1. The Vibrant Harvest:

At the heart of this pasta bake are the star ingredients – courgettes and tomatoes. Courgettes, with their delicate flavor and tender texture, bring a subtle nuttiness to the dish. When combined with the juicy, ripe tomatoes bursting with natural sweetness, the result is a marriage of flavors that perfectly embodies the essence of summer. This combination infuses the pasta bake with a burst of colors, showcasing the richness of the season's harvest.

2. Al Dente Perfection:

The pasta, a fundamental component of this dish, is cooked to al dente perfection. Al dente, an Italian term meaning "to the tooth," refers to pasta that is tender yet slightly firm when bitten. This texture not only enhances the overall mouthfeel of the dish but also ensures that the pasta maintains its structure amidst the luscious sauce and vegetables, creating a satisfying and enjoyable dining experience.

3. Aromatic Herb Symphony:

Elevating the flavors of the Courgette and Tomato Pasta Bake are the aromatic herbs that weave their magic throughout the dish. Fresh basil, parsley, and oregano plucked straight from the garden, infuse the pasta bake with an intoxicating aroma and a medley of tastes – from the peppery notes of basil to the earthy depth of oregano. These herbs not only enhance the taste but also add a touch of visual appeal, sprinkling the dish with vibrant green hues.

4. Creamy Béchamel Embrace:

Enveloping the pasta, courgettes, and tomatoes is a velvety béchamel sauce, lending a creamy and indulgent note to the dish. This classic white sauce, made with butter, flour, and milk, forms a luscious base that coats every ingredient in a comforting embrace. Its richness balances the natural acidity of the tomatoes and rounds out the overall flavor profile, adding a touch of decadence to the rustic charm of the dish.

5. The Baked Masterpiece:

Once assembled, the Courgette and Tomato Pasta Bake is baked in the oven until it reaches golden perfection. During baking, the flavors meld together, creating a harmonious blend that tantalizes the senses. The top forms a crispy, golden crust, while the insides remain bubbling and flavorful, ready to be scooped onto plates and savored with every forkful.

Rps and Variations:


1. Choosing Fresh Ingredients: Use ripe, flavorful tomatoes and firm, small to medium-sized courgettes. Fresh, seasonal produce will enhance the overall taste of the dish.

2. Proper Pasta Cooking: Cook the pasta just until al dente, as it will continue cooking in the oven. Rinse it under cold water after boiling to stop the cooking process and prevent sticking.

3. Sauté the Vegetables: Sauté the courgettes in olive oil with a pinch of salt before adding them to the pasta bake. This brings out their natural sweetness and ensures they are cooked through in the oven.

4. Layering Technique: Layer the ingredients evenly in the baking dish – pasta, sautéed courgettes, fresh tomatoes, and herbs. Repeat the layers to distribute the flavors evenly throughout the dish.

5. Cheese Topping: For a cheesy crust, top the pasta bake with a generous layer of grated Parmesan, mozzarella, or a combination of your favorite cheeses. Broil for a few minutes at the end of the baking time to achieve a golden, bubbling top.

6. Avoiding Soggy Pasta: To prevent the pasta from becoming mushy, slightly reduce the cooking time suggested on the package. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven as it absorbs the flavors of the sauce.


1. Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free pasta to make the dish suitable for those with gluten sensitivities. Gluten-free penne or fusilli works well in this recipe.

2. Grilled Vegetables: Enhance the smoky flavor by grilling the courgette slices before adding them to the pasta bake. Grilling adds a delightful char that elevates the overall taste of the dish.

3. Spicy Kick: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or finely chopped fresh chili peppers for a spicy twist. The heat will complement the sweetness of the tomatoes and add a kick to each bite.

4. Herb Variations: Experiment with different herbs based on your preference. Fresh thyme, rosemary, or marjoram can add unique aromatic notes to the dish.

5. Incorporate Protein: Mix in cooked chicken, crumbled sausage, or sautéed shrimp for a protein boost. This addition transforms the dish into a complete, satisfying meal.

6. Pesto Drizzle: Add a dollop of homemade or store-bought pesto sauce on top of the baked pasta before serving. The basil and pine nut flavors will complement the tomatoes and courgettes beautifully.

7. Creamy Twist: For a creamier version, mix a portion of ricotta cheese or cream cheese into the tomato sauce before tossing it with the pasta. This adds richness and a velvety texture to the dish.


  • - 12 oz (about 350g) penne or your favorite pasta
  • - 2-3 medium courgettes (zucchini), sliced into thin rounds
  • - 4-5 ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • - 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • - 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • - 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • - Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • - 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for spice)
  • - 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • - 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • - 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • For the Sauce:
  • - 2 cups tomato sauce or marinara sauce
  • - 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • - Salt and black pepper, to taste


1. Preheat the Oven:

   Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9x13-inch (23x33 cm) baking dish lightly with olive oil.

2. Cook the Pasta:

   Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until it is just al dente according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and set it aside.

3. Prepare the Sauce:

   In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant. Pour in the tomato sauce, add dried oregano, salt, and black pepper. Let the sauce simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste.

4. Sauté the Courgettes:

   In a separate pan, heat a little olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced courgettes and sauté until they are tender and slightly golden, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

5. Layer the Pasta Bake:

   In the prepared baking dish, layer half of the cooked pasta, followed by half of the sautéed courgettes, half of the sliced tomatoes, half of the torn basil, half of the chopped parsley, and half of the shredded mozzarella. Drizzle with half of the prepared sauce. Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients.

6. Cheese Topping:

   Sprinkle the top with the grated Parmesan cheese and the remaining shredded mozzarella. Add red pepper flakes if you prefer a spicy kick.

7. Bake the Pasta:

   Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Then, uncover the dish and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the top is golden brown.

8. Serve:

   Remove the pasta bake from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired. Serve hot and enjoy your flavorful Courgette and Tomato Pasta Bake!

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