Preparation and cooking time
- Prep:10 mins
- Cook:1 hr
- plus draining
- Serves 4
Try this easy version of an alla norma, which uses roast aubergine instead of fried. It’s then tossed with spaghetti and a rich tomato and basil sauce
- 2 aubergines, cut into 3cm chunks
- 1 heaped tsp salt
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- pinch chilli flakes
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp sugar
- 350g spaghetti (egg-free, if needed)
- small bunch basil, shredded, plus a few leaves to serve
- 1 heaped tbsp capers
- ricotta salata or parmesan, finely grated, to serve (optional)
- STEP 1
Toss the aubergines with the salt, then tip into a colander set over a bowl for 30 mins, to extract any moisture.
- STEP 2
Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a casserole dish or saucepan. Tip in the onion and a pinch of salt, and cook over a low heat for 10 mins. Add the garlic and chilli, and cook for 1 min. Tip in the tomatoes and sugar, and bring to the simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 20 mins, stirring occasionally. Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
- STEP 3
Pat the aubergine dry with kitchen paper, then toss with the remaining oil. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 mins until softened and golden around the edges. Meanwhile, cook the pasta following pack instructions, reserving 100ml of the cooking water.
- STEP 4
Stir the aubergine into the sauce with the basil and capers. Season to taste, then toss the spaghetti in the pan with the sauce and a splash of the pasta water. Divide between four bowls and top with the ricotta and extra basil, if using.