. Difficulty: Medium
. Serves: 4 people
. Variety: Pasta
DescriptionThe aubergine used for this recipe is the round purple one primarily grown in Sicily. It is meatier than the usual oblong aubergines and so much sweeter that my mother often serves them raw and seasoned, as a salad. This Sicilian signature pasta dish calls for the flavour of a Grana Padano over 16 months.
Ingredients650g round purple aubergines, halves and thinly sliced
40g dry breadcrumbs
250g homemade tomato sauce
120g mozzarella, chopped
A handful of basil leaves + extra for garnish
120g Grana Padano over 16 months, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
PreparationPreheat the oven to 190˚C. Fry the aubergines in hot oil for a couple of minutes on each side. They should not colour. Lay them on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil and leave to cool.
Butter a 19cm x 27cm x 6cm oval tin and coat with breadcrumbs.
Bring a pan of water to a boil, add salt then the bucatini and cook for half the time suggested on the packet. Drain and mix with the tomato sauce, mozzarella, Grana Padano and basil. Adjust seasoning and set aside.
Line the side of the tin with the aubergine slices, overlapping them slightly and letting them hang over the top, then cover the gap left in the centre with more overlapping slices. Loosely fill the tin with the bucatini mixture (do not compact the pasta or the dish will lose its lightness), fold the overlapping aubergine slices over the pasta and cover the centre with the rest of the aubergine slices. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Leave to cool then flip the timbale on a serving platter. Slice and serve, garnished with fresh basil leaves.