Can we talk about quinoa for a minute? Quinoa is still a pretty new ingredient for me, and I’m obsessed. Growing up in Belgium, this supergrain wasn’t something I’d ever heard of, let alone cooked with. Over the past couple of years I’ve slowly been discovering it (alongside things like sweet potato, bulgar wheat, etc…) and finding different ways to use it into dishes. Quinoa is so versatile and full of protein, it makes a great alternative to other grains and carbs. My Quinoa Mango Chicken Salad is still one of my favourite recipes…
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I was drooling over my new favourite food blog Half Baked Harvest, when I stumbled across Tieghan’s recipe for a Creamy Caprese Quinoa Bake, and it suddenly dawned on me – quinoa could be a great substitute for pasta. It was dinner time and I felt like something filling and a little naughty, and this recipe was perfect. I didn’t feel like going to the supermarket though, so I made my own version of the quinoa bake with ingredients I had in the fridge and hooray, this is how my new favourite meal was invented.
It’s filling, cheap to make, it’s a one-pan-dish, it takes less than 15 mins to make, and the leftovers taste even better the day after. I’ve made different versions since with different ingredients, shoved it down my friends’ throats (they loved it) and I have a feeling this might just be my new signature dish…
ROAST TOMATO AND COURGETTE QUINOA BAKE
Ingredients for 4 people:
2 cups of cooked quinoa
1 medium courgette, chopped
1 jar of tomato sauce (I used one with mascarpone)
8 large plum tomatoes
Pancetta or bacon
1 mozarella ball
basil leaves, salt & pepper, olive oil
1: Preheat the oven to 200°, slice the plum tomatoes in half, put into an oven dish, pour a dash of olive oil over them and pop in the oven. Meanwhile, in a large pan, boil water and cook the quinoa as instructed on the pack.
2. Once the quinoa is cooked, make sure the remaining water is drained and add the courgette, pancetta, and basil and cook until the courgette is softening. Add salt and pepper if you want.
3. When the pancetta and courgette are done, add the tomato sauce and cook a couple more minutes. Take the dish with the tomatoes out of the oven, pour over the quinoa mixture, top with the sliced mozarella and put under the grill until the cheese is melted and tadaaaaaa… you’re done!
Honestly, this is one of the most fulfilling, easy and quick dishes I’ve made in a long time. Try for yourself and play around with different ingredients and I’m sure you will agree!