Courgettes, tomatoes and amaretti: Yotam Ottolenghi’s taste of Italian summer – recipes

Ektalian summer, anyone? I know! Me, ook! This might not be a summer when we get to drink espresso with a little amaretti biscuit on the side in situ, but I fully intend to pretend for a good few meals. Amaretti biscuits, Italian extra-virgin olive oil, hard ricotta from Puglia, the sweetest tomatoes and most basil-y of basil leaves you can get your hands on: invest in the power of food to transport. Cin-cin!

This is a celebration of summer tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes work well, because they are so sweet, but use whatever you have to hand. The dressing and oil can be made a day in advance.

Berei voor 20 min
kok 55 min
Bedien 8

8 plum tomatoes, cut in half (750g)
250ml olive oil
3
unpeeled garlic cloves
Salt and black pepper
3 tbsp PX sherry vinegar
, or any other sweet vinegar such as moscatel
1 suurlemoen, 3 wide strips of zest pared off with a peeler or sharp knife, then squeezed, to get 2 tbsp juice
800g heritage cherry tomatoes
20g picked basil leaves
, grof gekap
70g spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced at an angle
100g ricotta dura (hard ricotta), thinly sliced

For the sourdough croutons
360g sourdough bread, crust removed, then torn into medium chunks
60ml olyf olie

For the coriander seed and lemon oil
45ml olive oil
3 strips
lemon zest
1½ tbsp coriander seeds
, lightly crushed

Heat the oven to its highest setting – 240C (220C waaier)/475F / gas 9. Put the plum tomatoes skin side down in a roughly 23cm x 17cm x 7cm high ovenproof dish, then add the oil, whole garlic cloves and a teaspoon of salt. Roast for 25 minute, until the tomato juices are running and the skins are blistered, then remove and leave to cool. Turn down the oven to 180C (160C waaier)/350F / gas 4.

Once cool, peel and discard both the tomato and garlic skins, dan, using a fork, mash them into the oily juices in the dish until completely broken up. Add two tablespoons of the sherry vinegar and the lemon juice, stir well and put to one side.

In a colander set over a bowl, mix the cherry tomatoes with a half-teaspoon of salt and the remaining tablespoon of vinegar and set aside to steep.

Put the chunks of sourdough on a large baking tray, drizzle over the olive oil, toss to coat, then bake for about 25 minute, until golden and crunchy. Remove and leave to cool.

Intussen, make the coriander seed oil by heating the olive oil and lemon zest in a small frying pan on medium heat for about two minutes. Add the coriander seeds, cook for another minute, until they become fragrant, then take off the heat and leave to cool.

To assemble, spoon the dressing on to a large platter, scatter the croutons on top, then scatter over half the basil, spring onions and ricotta. Tumble the cherry tomatoes on top with the remaining basil, spring onions and ricotta, drizzle over the coriander oil and serve.

Serve these as a meal in their own right, perhaps alongside some roast potatoes, but I prefer to have them as part of a meze spread, served with lots of bread to mop up all the tomato-y sauce. Pangritata translates as “poor man’s parmesan”, because the breadcrumbs replicate the firm textures of the cheese.

Berei voor 20 min
kok 1 hr 30 min
Bedien 4

1 onion, geskil en fyngekap (180g)
1kg courgettes (dws, oor 4 medium ones), trimmed and cut at an angle into roughly 5cm chunks
7 knoffelhuisies, geskil en fyngedruk
5g oregano sprigs
1½ tbsp tomato paste
150ml olive oil
, plus 2 tbsp extra for the pangritata
Salt and black pepper
400g small, ripe tomatoes
, such as datterini
2½ tbsp lemon juice
(dws, van 2 lemons)
10g basil leaves, roughly torn

For the pangritata
35g panko breadcrumbs
30g pine nuts
, very roughly broken in a mortar

Verhit die oond tot 180C (160C waaier)/350F / gas 4.

Put the onion, courgette, six of the garlic cloves, oregano, tomato paste, oil, a teaspoon and a half of salt and a good grind of pepper in a large, cast-iron saucepan for which you have a lid. Stir well to combine, cover, then bake for 55 minute, stirring once halfway, until everything has cooked down and softened but the courgettes still retain their shape.

Remove from the oven and turn up the heat to 200C (180C)/390F / gas 6. Stir the tomatoes into the courgette mix and return the pan to the oven, ontbloot, vir 25 minute, until the tomatoes have burst and the contents of the dish have taken on a little bit of colour. Remove and discard the oregano stems, and leave to cool for 30 minute, or longer, if you like (the dish is best eaten slightly warm or at room temperature).

Intussen, make the pangritata. Put the remaining two tablespoons of oil in a medium saute pan set over a medium-high heat and, once hot, add the panko, pine nuts, the remaining crushed garlic clove, an eighth of a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, and turn down the heat to medium. Cook for six to seven minutes, stirring regularly, until nicely browned and crisp, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Om te bedien, stir the lemon juice and basil into the courgette mixture and transfer to a large serving dish with a lip. Pour over all the sauce from the pan, sprinkle with a good handful of pangritata and serve the rest alongside.

These cookies keep very well in an airtight container for up to a week. Use the chicory essence to add a wonderful coffee flavour to your cakes and cookies; it’s also been known to find its way into my iced coffees.

Berei voor 15 min
kok 50 min
Bedien 8

200g ground almonds
180g strooisuiker
1 suurlemoen
, zested, to get 1 tsp
3 egg whites
Flaked sea salt
¾ tsp good-quality almond essence
40g icing sugar
300ml whipping cream
, whisked to soft peaks

For the coffee sauce
4 shots espresso
3 tsp Camp chicory
and coffee essence
2 tbsp cocoa powder
4 tsp maple syrup
2 tbsp double cream

Heat the oven to 170C (150C waaier)/325F / gas 3. In a medium bowl, mix the almonds, sugar and lemon zest until well combined.

Using a handheld or stand mixer on medium-high speed, whisk the egg whites with an eighth of a teaspoon of flaked salt to stiff peaks. Add the almond essence and whisk again for 30 seconds, until well mixed in. Pour the dry almond mixture into the egg whites and mix until everything comes together uniformly.

Sift the icing sugar and a big pinch of salt into a small bowl. Weigh out 18 x 28g balls of the biscuit dough, then roll them one by one in the icing sugar bowl, until they are smooth balls covered in the sugar mixture. Put on a large tray lined with greaseproof paper.

Bake the amaretti for 30 minute, rotating the tray once halfway, then remove, leave to cool for three minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool further.

Intussen, make the coffee sauce by mixing all the ingredients except the cream in a small saucepan, then cook on a medium-high heat for 10 minute, until thick and syrupy. Stir in the cream and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt, then pour into a serving jug.

Serve the amaretti in small bowls with the whipped cream on the side and the hot sauce drizzled over the top.

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