In this recipe the pasta, along with the other ingredients – aubergines, tomatoes, Mozzarella amongst other things – are finished off for a few minutes in the oven. You could, however, use the grill instead: place the baking dish for 10 minutes under a pre-heated grill 3-4 inches (7.5-10 cm) away from the heat. But you will have to keep an eye on it and if it browns too quickly, place a piece of foil loosely over the top and increase the time to 15 minutes.
This recipe is from One is Fun!
1 medium-sized aubergine, weighing 5-6 oz (150-175 g)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 oz (50 g) chopped onion
6 oz (175 g) ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped, or else use tinned chopped Italian tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2-3 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
1 rounded dessertspoon tomato purée
2-3 pitted black olives, chopped
2-3 oz (50-75 g) tagliatelle, depending on your appetite
½ oz (10 g) butter
2 level tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 oz (50 g) Mozzarella cheese, diced
salt and freshly milled black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).
Begin by dicing – but not peeling – the aubergine into approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) dice, place these in a colander, sprinkle with salt, then cover them with a plate weighted down with scale-weights or similar.
Leave them for 20 minutes then squeeze them dry in a clean tea-cloth (this is to get rid of their excess moisture).
Now heat the oil in a heavy-based pan and fry the onion gently in it to soften for 5 minutes before adding the drained aubergine. Carry on cooking for another 5 minutes then stir in the chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil and tomato purée.
Season with salt and pepper then cover the pan and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes until the mixture has reduced to a sauce-like consistency. Then stir in the chopped olives and taste to check the seasoning.
While that's happening, cook the tagliatelle in plenty of salted boiling water (with a few drops of oil added to it) for 8 minutes.
Drain it thoroughly, then return it to the hot pan and toss it with the butter, half the Parmesan and all the diced Mozzarella.
Season with salt and pepper, then spread the pasta in a small baking-dish, cover it with the sauce and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes and serve straight away.