Tuesday, 21 August 2012

killer aubergine linguine

       I wish I could say that this dish was discovered during my travels, or a wise Italian grandmother told me the secrets to her signature dish but I fear I cannot. This is a made up creation that I love to cook on a rainy day, partly because it is a very warming cosy dish and partly because I like to make my own fresh pasta which requires a great deal of time and patience. I am not suggesting you do the same, but if you want to give it a try, it’s well worth the effort, there is no comparison to homemade pasta. The sauce for this pasta is a combination of my favourite popular Italian ingredients thrown together, in a hap hazard like manner and do you know what? It works! This dish serves two greedy people or four normal portions.
You will need:
250g of linguine
For the sauce:
5 tablespoons of good olive oil (it’s a lot I know but this is a treat)
4 large garlic cloves finely chopped
1 small dried chilli or a pinch of dried chilli flakes
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped oregano
2 teaspoons of sugar
100ml of vodka
15 slices of thinly sliced Milano salami, chop into quarters
1 small aubergine diced into inch cubes
400g of cherry tomatoes sliced in half
4 tablespoons of double cream or two tablespoons of mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon of salt (sea salt is less harsh than table salt)
1 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons of black olives chopped
A small bunch of basil chopped (roughly 4 tablespoons worth)
1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
In a saucepan pour the oil and add the garlic, oregano, chilli and black pepper, then turn on the heat, when you start the smell the garlic add the salami and the cubed aubergine fry this for five minutes. Add the tomatoes, vodka, sugar, vinegar and salt, place the lid on the pan and continue cooking for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile place your linguine into a pan of boiling water, make sure the pasta water is well salted with at least 3 tablespoons of salt. Italians say that you should always make sure your pasta water is as salty as the Mediterranean.
 Lift off the saucepan lid and reduce the sauce for a further five minutes. Lastly stir in the cream, olives and basil and turn off the heat. Drain your cooked pasta and add it into the sauce, toss well and sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of grated Parmigianino cheese.

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