Slow-roasted courgettes with fennel & orzo served on a plate

Slow-roasted courgettes with fennel & orzo

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(3 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 10 mins


Serves 2

Roast whole courgettes over tomatoes, bay, fennel and chilli for a fabulous taste that pairs well with saffron-spiked orzo - a sumptuous summertime supper

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal541
  • fat22g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs48g
  • sugars6g
  • fibre8g
  • protein23g
  • salt0.4g


  • pinch of saffron



    The stigma of a type of crocus, saffron threads have a pungent and distinctive aroma and flavour…

  • 1⁄2 bulb of fennel, sliced
  • 100g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 120ml dry white wine
  • 4-6 baby to medium-sized courgettes



    The courgette is a variety of cucurbit, which means it's from the same family as cucumber,…

  • 1 lemon, zested



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 50g sourdough breadcrumbs
  • 200g orzo
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 tbsp ricotta



    Ricotta is an Italian cheese made from whey and traditionally a by-product of…

  • handful of dill


  1. Put the saffron in a small bowl and cover with 1/2 tbsp of boiling water. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put the fennel in a roasting tin with the tomatoes and bay leaf, drizzle over some oil, season and toss together with the chilli flakes. Pour over the wine. Prick the courgettes all over with a fork and place on top of the fennel. Drizzle with a little more oil, then season and cover with foil.

  2. Roast for 1 1/2 - 2 hrs, turning the courgettes halfway through, removing the foil for the last 5 mins. The courgettes should be very soft. Lift the courgettes from the pan and set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add half the lemon zest and breadcrumbs, and gently fry until the bread is golden and crunchy. Set aside.

  4. Cook the orzo in a pan of boiling water until al dente, then drain. Toss with the fennel, tomatoes, pine nuts, the saffron and its water. Season.

  5. Divide the orzo between plates and add half the ricotta to each, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Top with the courgettes and scatter over the breadcrumbs, remaining lemon zest and sprigs of dill.

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Comments, questions and tips

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22nd Aug, 2018
I made a low calorie low cost version of this, served it with roast pork for Sunday dinner, and it was absolutely delicious with everyone asking me to make it again. Instead of saffron I added a teaspoon of turmeric to the cooking water for the orzo. Left out the ricotta and pine nuts and substituted some panko breadcrumbs for the sourdough.
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18th Jul, 2018
Go easy on the chilli flakes otherwise more delicate flavours muddled..but otherwise we enjoyed this.
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