I have been having pasta every day like a proper Italian this month. I had ordinary pasta and farro pasta which is Italian spelt. It makes a change to the classic wheat pasta and has an interesting and delicate flavour. Many people seem to have a problem with wheat these days and farro could be a good alternative to it.
Of course the sauce I use in the summer is always the same: made with fresh tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and olive oil. I could not ask for a better lunch! And it is light too.
Basil leaves are just like perfume: they leave you with a strong and powerful fragrance on your hands, infact better than real perfume! (at least more natural).
My recipe today is a revisited Sicilian anelletti timbale. The classic version of this recipe is with meat and fried eggplant. As it is summer time I have grilled the eggplant instead of frying it and substituted the meat for mozzarella and tomatoes so you get a lighter version of this beautiful and tasty dish.
Definetely worth a try, maybe for a dinner party!
- Prep Time : 40 minutes
- Cook Time : 25 minutes
To make this lovely dish first we collected the most ripe and juicy cherry tomatoes from the garden and a few basil leaves. The smell of fresh basil was incredible!
Wash the eggplant, slice them into 1/2 cm thick slices, sprinkle them with salt and let them rest for 10 minutes. With a paper towel absorb the excess moisture they have released.
Heat up a griddle pan and when it is really hot lay the slices on it pressing with a spatula and cook them for about 2 minutes each side.
Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and let them drain on a colander.
Cut the mozzarella into cubes
Cook the pasta al dente in salty water, drain and mix it with the mozzarella cubes, 2 tbsp of olive oil, the tomato sauce, the torn basil leaves, the parmesan and the cherry tomatotes.
When it comes to mixing, whipping and stirring children always like to get involved!
Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil. Cover a small deep pot (measuring approx 17cm / 7 inch diameter) with parchment paper, brush it with olive oil and line the bottom and the sides of it with the eggplant slices. Leave 4 or 5 slices aside. Put the pasta mixture inside.
Cover up with the remaining eggplant and drizzle with olive oil.
Cook for 25 minutes at 180C or 350F.
Let it cool down a little then turn it upside down on a plate. Remove the parchment paper and serve with a drizzle of olive oil. Decorate with basil leaves and cherry tomatoes.