I have become somewhat obsessed with Piedmontese Peppers and all the flavours of this very simple and exquisite dish. I wanted to try to capture some of that with this pasta. I love roasted aubergine too so added that in, along with a good handful of back olives, cherry tomatoes and torn basil leaves. It’s a dry pasta vs one drowned in the ubiquitous red sauce. The peppers and tomatoes give off amazing juice during the roasting which together with the olive oil makes an adequate coating for my pasta. I add lots of grated Parmesan to finish it off too.
I add the anchovies at the end like you would with Piedmontese Peppers. This way you max out on their flavour and they don’t disintegrate during the cooking. Add as much as you like, but I think 2 – 3 tablespoons is amazing.
Recipe – serves 2
- 2 – 2 1/2 cups aubergine, cut into smallish pieces
- 2 red pepper, de seeded and cut into similar size pieces as the aubergine
- 2 small red onions or one large onions, peeled, ends removed and cut into quarters or 8ths
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
- a handful of black Calamata olives
- handful fresh basil leaves torn
- 2 – 3 T anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
- 200 gm short pasta, like penne
- Parmesan cheese to serve
Pre heat the oven to 200 C. Put the aubergine, red pepper and onions into a large roasting tray and coat in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes (shake the pan one or twice during this).
Add the tomatoes, olives and garlic and cook for a further 10 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, boil a pot of salted water and cook your pasta to al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/4 of a cup of the cooking water. Put the pasta back into the pot with the reserved water.
When the tray of vegetables are ready, stir them through the pasta. Add the anchovies and torn basil leaves and server with fresh Parmesan cheese.