Tagliatelle with Aubergine, Tomato and Mozzarella

Sometimes, only a big plate of pasta will do. You could omit the chilli or the capers if you wanted to. But I wouldn’t. I never used to eat aubergine, imagining I didn’t like it. But I really do.

Serves 2 greedy people.

  • small aubergine (about 300-400g), diced into roughly into half inch cubes -don’t get a ruler out or anything, just not big chunks.
  • olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
  • small glass white wine
  • 75g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 pint passata (although, at a push, a tin of chopped tomatoes will be ok)
  • 1 tbsp torn basil leaves thats about 6 or 7
  • 100g buffalo mozzarella, chopped
  • 25g parmesan cheese, grated plus some for sprinkling
  • salt & pepper
  • 250g tagliatelle.

This is delicious.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6. Put the aubergine in a large roasting tin, and sprinkle over a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and a generous amount of salt and freshly milled pepper. Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Heat a large frying pan, and put in another couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Put in the chilli and garlic and stir, for a moment or so. Put in the cherry tomatoes, passata, capers, basil and wine. Simmer this gently for ten minutes – don’t worry if the sauce reduces down a touch. In the meantime, cook your pasta – mine took 7 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, put the aubergines and cheeses into the tomato sauce and stir until the cheese is melted (although I wouldn’t want the mozzarella to melt completely) and the sauce has returned to simmering point. Drain the pasta and serve onto a wam plate with the sauce on top.

Tomato, Herb & CousCous Salad

Don’t worry too much about exact quanties here – this is more of an idea than a recipe. I made this to go with stuffed aubergines, because I had lots of herbs to use up, but I would probably, in hindsight, usually make this to go with something plain like chicken, fish or chops. Or maybe something extremely spicy. Anyway, its a very fresh, juicy salad. Honestly, I think its only worth making at this time of year, as raw tomatoes usually are not worth making a feature of.

tomatosalad

  • 50g couscous, dry weight. Made to packet instructions.
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced into rings
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped mint, parsley, basil and marjoram (or whatever green leafy herbs you can get your hands on, that’s just what I had)
  • good glug of olive oil
  • splash white wine vinegar
  • lots of salt & pepper

Make up the couscous and leave aside to cool down for a bit – room temperature is what you’re aiming for. Then, chuck everything into a big bowl and mix with a fork (always best not to stir couscous with a wooden spoon because it goes claggy really easily). Thats all.