When you are organising the hen-do of a dear friend, there has to be a couple of dishes that satisfy the soul and are simple to prepare. I think of this favourite as a fancy pizza: crisp, juicy and full of flavour. Don't be tied down to this recipe, though – your only limitation is what's in the fridge.
Serves six. Preparation: 20 minutes; cooking: 25-30 minutes.
you will need
1 red pepper
250g/9oz shop-bought all-butter puff pastry
Plain flour, for dusting
3 tbsps passata
2 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper
1 free-range egg, beaten, or milk, to glaze
2 sprigs basil
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas Mark 4.
Line a large baking sheet with nonstick baking paper. Slice the courgette, aubergine and pepper into 2mm-thick rings.
Roll out the pastry dough on a lightly floured work surface to an 18cm x 30cm (7in x 12in) rectangle, neatening the edges with a long, sharp knife. Lightly score a 2cm (¾in) border around the edges of the dough and gently pierce inside the border with a fork.
Spread the passata over the dough, then layer the vegetables in alternating rows on top. Drizzle the vegetables with one tablespoon of the olive oil and season generously. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg or milk.
Bake the tart for 25-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened and the pastry is cooked through, risen and golden. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the basil leaves, the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and Parmesan, if using.