Recipe: Pasta with peppers, olives and spiced aubergine

Recipe: Pasta with peppers, olives and spiced aubergine

Ingredients

for the dressing

  • 20g unrefined sugar
  • 20g balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 20g tomato paste
  • ½ tsp salt
  • fresh basil, if you have it

This dish sits somewhere between a caponata, with cooked aubergine and a gentle sweet and sour (what’s known as agrodolce in Italy) flavour, the very comforting dish called peperonata made with roasted peppers and onions. Together with BakeryBits South Devon Pasta Co’s Einkorn Fusilli it makes a delicious lunch or supper dish, or without the pasta served as an antipasti with your favourite bread.

Method

Heat the oven to 180C fan. Cut the peppers in half lengthways, remove the stalk and seeds then place them cut-side down on a tray lined with non-stick paper. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until charred on the outside, then remove from the oven and leave to cool

Meanwhile remove the stalk from the aubergine and chop into 2cm dice. Toss with ½ tsp salt, the paprika and about 20ml olive oil, then place on a baking tray (it can be the same one you roasted the peppers on, or on a second tray and cook them at the same time as the peppers) and cook for about 25-30 minutes or until soft and just beginning to char on the edges.

Peel and slice the onions and garlic, place in a saucepan with ½ tsp salt, about 20ml olive oil and 50ml water, bring to the boil then cook, stirring occasionally, until the water has evaporated and the onions are translucent and sizzling. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the roasted aubergine.

Peel the skin off the peppers, discard, and slice the flesh into thick strips or chunks. Stir this in with the aubergine. Whisk together the dressing ingredients with 20ml olive oil and pour this over the vegetables. Season well to taste and stir together: the mixture should have a slight sweet and sour flavour. Chop some basil leaves and stir this through.

When you’re ready to serve cook the pasta in boiling well-salted water until tender, drain then stir through the peperonata to taste, then serve. Excellent either hot or as an antipasti.