Simple Steps To Make Sicilian Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Aubergines
Being one of my favorite, Aubergines, tomatoes and Mozzarella are the classic ingredients of any classic Sicilian sauce for pasta, and roasting the tomatoes and aubergines to get them slightly charred adds an extra flavour dimension.
8 oz (225 g) spaghetti
12 large tomatoes (roughly 2 lb/900 g)
1 large aubergine, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
about 4 tablespoons olive oil
12 large basil leaves, torn in half, plus a few extra for garnish
5 oz (150 g) Mozzarella, cut into ½ inch (1 cm) cubes
salt and freshly milled black pepper
Firstly, place the aubergine cubes in a colander, sprinkle them with salt and leave them to stand for half an hour, weighed down with something heavy to squeeze out the excess juices.
While waiting, skin the tomatoes by pouring boiling water over them and leaving them for 1 minute, then drain off the water and, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins.
Cut each tomato in half and place the halves on one of the baking trays (cut side uppermost), then season with salt and freshly milled black pepper. Sprinkle over the chopped garlic, distributing it evenly between the tomatoes, and follow this with a few drops of olive oil in each one.
Top each tomato half with half a basil leaf, turning each piece of leaf over to give it a good coating of oil.
Now place the baking tray on the middle shelf of the oven and roast the tomatoes for 50-60 minutes or until the edges are slightly blackened.
Meanwhile, drain the aubergines and squeeze out as much excess juice as possible, then dry them thoroughly with a clean cloth and place them in the other baking tray.
Then drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil all over them and place them on the top shelf of the oven, above the tomatoes, giving them half an hour.
Towards the end of the cooking time, cook the pasta (see How to cook perfect pasta). When the tomatoes and aubergines are ready, scrape them, along with all their lovely cooking juices, into a saucepan and place it over a low heat, then add the cubed Mozzarella and stir gently.
Now drain the pasta, pile it into a warm bowl, spoon the tomato and aubergine mixture over the top and scatter over a few basil leaves.