Today’s Take Two ingredients are an aubergine and a punnet of cherry tomatoes. Combined with a couple of store cupboard essentials, they make a fabulous vegetarian pasta bake packed full of Mediterranean flavours. This serves two people but can easily be converted to serve more.
1 large aubergine, thinly sliced
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a small bunch of fresh basil
1 large garlic clove,finely chopped
A good handful of black olives, sliced (I used half a 200g jar, rinsed)
200g wholewheat pasta shapes
1 ball mozzarella cheese, sliced
Preheat the oven to 160c.
Spread the aubergine slices on an oven tray and brush lightly with olive oil. Don’t add salt, it will make the slices soggy.
Place the tomatoes, cut side up on another tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle over the sugar & season well. Scatter a few torn basil leaves over the top.
Place both trays in the oven and roast for 30- 40 minutes until the aubergine slices are soft & browning and the tomatoes are sticky. Remove from the oven.
Turn the oven up to 200c.
Meanwhile cook the pasta in plenty of salted water until al dente (don’t be tempted to over do it as it’s going in the oven for 20 minutes as well). Drain well and stir through the chopped garlic and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Now for the layering up….
Spread half the pasta in a greased oven proof dish and top with half the tomatoes. Dot half the mozzarella slices over the top and a few torn basil leaves. Add all the aubergine slices for the next layer. Don’t worry about gaps, it’s not like lasagne. Next add the remaining pasta and finish with a layer of tomatoes. The final touches are the rest of the mozzarella, more basil leaves and a good grating of Parmesan.
Pop into the oven for 15-20 minutes until the mozzarella has melted and the whole thing is sizzling gently. Try not to over do it as the top bits of past may go a bit crispy. Rest for 5 minutes then serve with a green salad.