Tagliatelle with Aubergines, Tomato and Basil

A simple but delicious vegetarian pasta recipe. The egg tagliatelle is entwined with pan fried aubergines, chopped tomatoes, red chilli flakes and fresh basil.

Pasta
From the book Pasta
Theo Randall
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Introduction

This kind of sauce is normally associated with dried pasta. It works really well with tagliatelle, however, as the aubergines become creamy, coating the egg pasta nicely.

Ingredients

6 tbsp olive oil
2 large aubergines, cut into discs 1cm thick
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
400g can of chopped tomatoes
8 basil leaves, torn
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
250g fresh tagliatelle (or dried egg tagliatelle)
75g pecorino cheese, grated
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Heat 5 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan and fry the aubergines, in batches, until light golden on the outside and soft all the way through. As each batch is done, place on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a pan, add the sliced garlic and cook gently until softened. Add the tomatoes, bring to the boil and simmer until reduced by half. Season to taste. Cut the fried aubergines into strips 2cm thick and add to the tomato sauce with the basil, dried chilli and some seasoning.

Cook the tagliatelle in a large pan of boiling salted water for about 3 minutes, until al dente (or cook according to the packet instructions for dried tagliatelle). Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water and add to the sauce. Toss well, adding a couple of spoonfuls of the pasta water to loosen the sauce if necessary, and cook gently for a couple of minutes. Serve with the grated pecorino and some black pepper.

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