Finally, for this week, a delicious pasta dish. When I was at then River Café (sorry, it is a week of name dropping) we often used to make this delicious Melanzane al Funghetto, which actually means aubergines cooked in the style of mushrooms, though I have no idea why! Anyway, I am sure that I will probably cook it on this blog very soon, but today I wasn’t looking for a side dish, I wanted a quick supper, so I decided to add some pasta.
I then thought that it might be nicer to roast the aubergine instead of frying it, to make it less oily and then I thought some little roast cherry tomatoes might be nice so I have called it Roast Aubergine and Cherry Tomato Pasta with Basil and I have to say, it was very nice.
Roast Aubergine and Cherry Tomato Pasta with Basil
1 large aubergine, cut into chunks
10 cherry tomatoes
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 fat garlic cloves, peeled
1 tin plum tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Pinch of chilli flakes
handful basil leaves, shredded or torn
handful of drained capers
200g pasta such as penne or fusilli
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 180C fan. Heat some of the olive oil in a large frying pan. Very thinly slice the garlic and fry until just golden brown. Add the tin of tomatoes, the balsamic vinegar, the chilli flakes and some salt and pepper. Let the sauce bubble away slowly on a low heat. If it gets too dry add a little water. Meanwhile toss the aubergine chunks with some of the olive oil, season well with salt and pepper and tip onto a roasting tray. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and put them onto the roasting tray as well. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 20-30 mins but check the aubergines regularly and move around to ensure even cooking. Meanwhile cook the pasta and drain. Tip the cooked aubergine, basil leaves and capers into the tomato sauce and stir gently. Check the seasoning and adjust. Tip in the pasta, stir and tip into serving bowls. Scatter with the roast tomatoes and serve straight away with parmesan if you like.