“This comforting dish is perfect for lunchtime, as it’s super-easy to prepare (you can make it ahead and bake it when you need it) and is super-satisfying. I would usually serve it with some grilled bread rubbed with garlic and olive oil. Try to use medium-sized firm courgettes (zucchini), as the big soft ones tend to break up and can be a bit wet. If you can’t get fresh plum tomatoes, use tomato passata instead – about 300ml should do it. ”
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, then add the courgettes and ½ teaspoon of salt and reduce the heat to low. Cook the courgettes for 15 minutes, until they have a little colour and the onions are soft. Add the tomatoes and thyme and cook over a low heat for a further 15 minutes, until everything has a similar texture. Check the seasoning, remove from the heat and set aside.
Use the remaining olive oil to grease the inside of a small baking dish. Tip the courgette and tomato mixture into the dish, then top it with the mozzarella. Mix the breadcrumbs and Parmesan together and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the dish.
Bake the dish for 20 minutes, until the top is golden and bubbling, then remove it from the oven and leave it to rest for 5 minutes before serving.