Sometimes the best recipes come together unintentionally or are by mistake. This is the tale of a dish which began life one way and ended quite another. I had intended to make a Rick Stein recipe I had seen on TV, Pasta with Aubergines, Tomatoes, Chilli and Ricotta salata cheese. I foraged around the supermarket and couldn’t find Ricotta salata anywhere. Its similar to Feta which the did have so I used this instead.
I had intended to follow the recipe and make Pasta with a nice sauce but as I was cooking Hana came in and exclaimed, “Ooh Pasta-Bake” and I thought why not! So Pasta with Aubergine, Tomatoes, Chilli and Ricotta sauce became Aubergine, Chilli, Tomato & Feta Pasta Bake.
I didn’t have my camera to hand so there are no pictures this time but as it was so simple to make I think this may be a new favourite so I will make it again and again and put up some pictures.
Ingredients for 2 People,
Preparation time 30 minutes
Cooking time 30mins – 1hr
2 large Aubergines
2 400g Tins of Plum Tomatoes
6 tbsp extra virgin Olive Oil
4 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
1/2tsp Chili Powder
A good handful fresh Basil leaves,
100g Feta Cheese, crumbled
400g Dried Pasta
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Begin by washing and thinly slicing the Aubergines then toss in 4tbsp of olive oil and roast in the center of the oven for 25-30 minutes turning half way through. Once cooked remove from the oven and prepare the sauce.
Heat 2tbsp of Olive Oil in the bottom of a pan and add the chopped Garlic and the Chili powder. Cook for 2-3 minutes to soften the Garlic then add the canned Tomatoes. Bring to the boil then add the Aubergine and simmer for 10-15 minutes. (if its there is too much liquid keep it on a gentle boil and reduce down till its a little thicker).
Meanwhile bring a large pan of water to the boil, pop the pasta in and cook according to the pack instructions. Once cooked rinse the cooked pasta under cold water to wash of the starch.
Roughly tear the Basil leaves and stir through the sauce. Combine the Pasta and Aubergine sauce in the pan and pour out into a large oven-proof dish I used the same one I had roasted the Aubergines on. Crumble the Feta over the Pasta and bake in the oven at 200C for 10-15 minutes.
The fun part,
When the Cheese has just started to melt and is browning on top its ready to eat. Serve with a green salad or what ever vegetables you have to hand. This dish was so easy to make and shows that good food can be simple and fun. Try it yourself.
- Reginette alla Norma recipe (telegraph.co.uk)
- The new vegetarian: aubergine, mint and feta polpetti with pomegranate yogurt recipe (telegraph.co.uk)