Gennaro's Pepper and Aubergine Pasta

I admit, I'm a pasta lover and I saw this recipe over the weekend and tried it. Delicious!


Gennaro Contaldo is a mentor to Jamie Oliver and a native Italian, so pasta has always been a big part of his life. Why don't you try this simple recipe?

Ingredients: (serves 2)
1 small aubergine -trimmed
Extra-virgin oil
Half a red pepper - deseeded
Half a yellow pepper - deseeded
Half a fresh red chilli
4 cloves of garlic - peeled
6 black olives - stones in
4tbs baby capers - rinsed
200g penne pasta
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ripe cherry tomatoes
Half a bunch of fresh basil - leaves picked
Parmesan cheese, to serve

Method:

  • Halve the aubergine and chop into 1cm cubes.
  • Heat 2tbs of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the aubergine and fry for about 8 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Place on a double layer of kitchen paper to drain.
  • Slice the peppers lengthways into strips, then in half across the middle.
  • Finely slice the chilli and crush the garlic. Crush the olives, pull out the stones and then tear the flesh in half.
  • Return the frying pan to a medium-high heat and add 2tbs of oil, peppers, chilli and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes, then add the olives, capers and a good splash of water and cook for a further 4 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook the penne pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente (firm but cooked). 
  • Quarter the tomatoes and add to the sauce, then tear most of the basil leaves in half, reserving a few nice leaves for later.
  • Cover and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until the tomatoes are softened. 
  • Add the aubergine, season to taste, then reduce to a lovely sauce adding a splash of the pasta cooking water to loosen the sauce, if needed.
  • Reserving some of the pasta cooking water, drain the penne and add to the sauce. Toss well over the heat until lovely and glossy, adding a splash of the cooking water to loosen, if needed. 
  • Serve with a grating of Parmesan, scattered with the rest of the basil leaves.

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