The Gluten Free and Aubergine Phase Continues

As i have mentioned I am currently going through an aubergine phase and for the past few weeks these dark, glossy, spongy bundles of joy have been a consistent member of my shopping trolley. I decided to try my hand at gluten free pasta and combine the two in a pasta alla norma (a well known SICILIAN? tomato, aubergine and ricotta pasta dish).
Whilst some people have reservations about gluten free pasta (i mean Elix!) after trying it a couple of times at a wonderful restaurant in Holborn called Amico Bio I am now a convert (i will blog about Amico Bio another time).
This recipe is delicious and light mixing sweet tomato and basil sauce with earthy aubergine, creamy ricotta and i like to add a sprinkle of dried chilli for some heat.

Serves 2.

1 Aubergine
1 tin plum tomatoes (tinned cherry tomatoes work very well for added sweetness)
1 clove garlic
Sprinkle dried chilli flakes
Sprinkle dried oregano
Drizzle white wine vinegar
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Handful of Basil leaves, stalks chopped

Start by chopping the aubergine into slices and then quartering these for a perfect “mouthful”. Fry them in olive oil (in batches if necessary) sprinkling with the oregano as they begin to soften and brown.
Once all softened, add all the aubergine into the pan along with the chilli flakes and tinned tomatoes. Let this bubble for a second and add in the sliced garlic clove, a drizzle of white wine vinegar and basil stalks. Stir and leave to gently simmer for 10-15 minutes, seasoning if you please.
Meanwhile boil the pasta for 10 minutes. My first experience taught me that the gluten free pasta needs slightly longer than normal pasta and had a tendency to stick together a bit more so i ensured i stirred to separate in a larger saucepan to give the pasta room to cook properly.
When the sauce has reduced and the aubergine has taken on the sweet tomato sauce, mix together with drained pasta using excess cooking water to loosen if needed.
Stir through the basil leaves and a few chunks of ricotta. Once plated scatter over some more ricotta and if you love cheese as much as Elix does some extra parmesan grated on top!

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