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Courgettes with fresh tomato sauce

This is like a very simple version of ratatouille. We like it best served just warm or at room temperature.


Cut the tomatoes in half around the ‘equator’. Using a box grater placed in a large bowl, grate the flesh side of the tomatoes, so that the juice and pulp goes into the bowl and you end up with only the skin of the tomato still in your hand. Set the tomato pulp aside.

Top and tail the courgettes, then cut into chunky slices, 8–10mm thick.

Heat the 1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the courgettes and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cook briskly, tossing or stirring the courgettes often, for 8–10 minutes, or until they are well browned and just tender but not soft. Add the garlic for the last minute or so of cooking.

Add the tomato pulp to the pan and stir well. Simmer for 5–10 minutes until the tomato juice is reduced to a loose sauce consistency – you don’t want to cook the tomatoes too long, but neither should the courgettes be swimming in liquid.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little – or down to room temperature; either is good. Just before serving, stir in the basil.

Taste and add more salt and/or pepper if needed, then trickle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Serving suggestions

It’s delicious with smashed new potatoes with coriander seeds and bay.


Replace the courgettes with aubergine – cut into roughly 2cm cubes and fry until golden brown before adding the juicy tomato pulp. Mushrooms also work well. And, to any of these veg, you can add a handful of spinach – wilt in the pan towards the end of cooking.

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500g large, ripe, juicy tomatoes

400g small-medium courgettes

1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

1 tbsp ribboned basil leaves

Sea salt and black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil, to serve