Linguine baked in aubergines

Combining baked pasta and aubergines, this dish is perfect for a cold winter evening

Recipe provided by Michael Diacono

Ingredients

  • 2 or 3 aubergines
  • 400g linguine
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 80g pancetta, cubed
  • 400g beef and pork mince
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ glass red wine
  • 2 tins polpa di pomodoro
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 8 basil leaves, torn
  • 200g cacciocavallo chesse, flaked
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Method

  1. Slice the aubergines and brush with olive oil then grill till golden. Place them on a dish and cover whilst still warm to let their own heat cook them further.
  2. Heat some oil in a large pot and stir fry the chopped onion, pancetta and garlic for a few minutes then add the minced meat. Season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Stir well and brown for about 5 mins. 
  4. Add the tomato paste diluted in the red wine and allow to evaporate.
  5. Add the polpa. 
  6. Rinse out the tins with water and add to the sauce. 
  7. Add the sugar and bay leaves.
  8. Cover and simmer gently for about 45 mins.
  9. Remove from the heat and add the basil leaves. Check seasoning.
  10. Butter a 28cm metal cake tin very well and then line the bottom and sides with the grilled aubergines.
  11. Boil the linguine in plenty of salted boiling water and drain when still very al dente.
  12. Mix the pasta with the sauce, flaked cheese and the eggs then fill up the aubergine lined tin and press down. 
  13. Cover with baking paper then tin foil.
  14. Bake at 180C for 40 mins. 
  15. Remove from the oven and leave for 10 mins.
  16. Run a knife around the edges then turn out onto a large serving plate.
  17. This dish may be prepared up to 2 days before needed and kept in the fridge or else freeze for up to 3 months and cook from frozen.

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