This dish brings together inspiration from a few regions, it isn’t a totally traditional Italian pasta recipe but it hints at several!
So, Bucatini, this is a spaghetti like pasta but with a small hole, almost the size of a needle running through the middle. ‘Buco’ means hole in Italian. This type of pasta is popular in Roman style cooking as it is often found in dishes, in Rome and Naples. I’m using Garofalo’s Bucatini which give a great texture and allows tomato based sauces to cling to it. This type of pasta is famous for Bucatini all’Amatriciana, which I have given a hint to in this recipe as I add chilli flakes to it. Amatriciana is a really simple dish of tomato, chilli and guanciale or pancetta – the heat and the saltiness combined with the sweetness of the tomato is a match made in heaven. Simple cooking at it’s best.
Aubergine or Melanzane are used in lots of traditional Italian dishes from roasted veg as a contorni, to an ingredient in vegetable lasagnes and of course pasta sauces. Most popularly, Sicilian Pasta alla Norma, this dish is also served with ricotta salata which is a hard ricotta. This is quite hard to get in the UK unless you go to a specialist deli or store, so in this recipe I used soft ricotta – this is also because I had some in the fridge and I HATE waste!
The combination of the bucatini pasta with a smooth tomato based sauce, aubergine and a creamy ricotta made for a quick and mouth watering dinner, so here’s the recipe!
- 150g Garofalo Bucatini (75g per person) – available from Ocado or Amazon.
- 1 Aubergine (in wedges)
- 10 black olives (sliced)
- 200ml Passata
- 1 tsp Oregano or Italian Herbs
- Chilli flakes (optional)
- 2 tbsps of soft ricotta (alternatively use a hard cheese to grate on top)
- Olive oil
- Firstly, halve the aubergine vertically and then cut into wedges like potatoes!
- Heat 2tbsps of olive oil in a pan and add the aubergine and oregano/Italian herbs, season with salt and pepper and allow to cook, moving across the pan for 5-10 minutes until the skins are soft and the flesh is cooked.
- Add the olives, chilli flakes (optional) and passata to the pan and stir.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil, salt, and add the pasta. Cook for 8-9 minutes until al dente (or according to packet instructions).
- Once cooked add the pasta to the pan with the sauce, with a good splash of pasta water and stir to combine for 1-2 minutes.
- Serve into bowls and top with a tablespoon of ricotta. Add some additional sliced olives for decoration if you wish.
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