Another amazingly tasty vegetarian dish, based on the recipe for Pasta alla Norma at this brilliant website
1 large aubergine (425 g)
2 or 3 large ripe tomatoes
60 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for tossing the aubergine
500 g pack of gnocchi
8 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
Dried powdered cayenne pepper
1 packed cup of Basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
100 g Feta Cheese crumbled
- Heat the oven to 220°C.
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin from the aubergine in stripes (it’s nice to have some, but not all, of the aubergine skin in the final pasta dish). Cut the aubergine into 2 cm cubes and toss it on a rimmed baking sheet with just enough olive oil to lightly coat it. Sprinkle lightly with salt and roast until browned and very tender, about 25 minutes.
- To intensify the flavour of your tomatoes,remove their skins and seeds and chop them into 1 cm cubes, then place the diced tomatoes in a colander, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt mix it up, and let the colander sit in the sink or in a bowl for 10 minutes, to draw off some of the water.
- Put a non -stick wok over a low heat and add 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss in the garlic and cayenne pepper to taste stir for 1 minute. Add the basil and a small sprinkle of salt, raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until the basil is dark green and wilted, being very careful not to burn the garlic.
- Add the tomatoes, and cook until the tomatoes barely lose their rawness, about 5 minutes. Add the roasted aubergine and let the sauce simmer gently until the gnocchi is ready.
- Cook the gnocchi as instructed on the packet drain into a colander but do save around a cup of cooking water.
- Put the gnocchi into the sauce, with the mint, and the parsley, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If the mixture seems dry, add some of the pasta cooking water, a little at a time, until the sauce is your desired consistency. Toss in the feta cheese, sprinkle over the Parmesan and serve immediately.