Sneakily chillied aubergine & olive rigatoni

Sneakily chillied aubergine & olive rigatoni

(or whatever pasta you….)

Prep:           10 mins.

Cooking:      40 mins.

Course:        Snack/Main

Serves:        2 to 4

Rating:         3:  Moderate


  • 450 g rigatoni pasta  (or whatever shape pasta that you have)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 large aubergine
  • A  combination of about 20  black/green pitted olives, all pitted
  • A dozen large sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2  chillies (dried or fresh), or use dried chilli seeds from a grinder/mill
  • A can of chopped toms
  • A very long squeeze of tubed tomato purée, or half a jar.
  • 400 g freshly grated mozzarella cheese
  • Smoked Scamorza cheese (if you can get it)
  • freshly grated parmesan, for grating or shavingHow does this work?CloseIt’s simple.

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  • Preheat your oven to 200C.
  • Cook the rigatoni in boiling lightly salted water for 10 mins. You’ll need to use a saucepan for this, of course.
  • Cube the aubergine into 1cm cubes. Peel & thinly slice the garlic.
  • Halve the olives and then slice half of them, quartering the other half to vary the size of the bits.
  • Chop the sun-dried toms, varying the size from large to tiny.

The chillies – You now have a choice:

  • You can chop the whole chilli.
  • You can halve it and remove (and discard) the seeds, then chop it.
  • You can just use a chilli seed grinder and forget about buying those fiddlin’ ruddy chillies in the first place! This way you can adjust the chilliness of the sauce accurately as you cook’n’taste….  You can see which one I’d favour, can’t you!
  • Use another saucepan to heat the olive oil and sauté (see ‘Tricks’n’Tips) the garlic, aubergine, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and chilies for a few minutes.
    Add the can of chopped toms, tomato puree and a little salt. Cook for about 10 minutes over a medium heat.
  • Drain the pasta after about 10 mins (leaving a good splash in the saucepan to accompany the pasta), add to the sauce, sprinkle with some parmesan, mix and cook for another 30 seconds.
  • Place half the rigatoni mixture in a baking dish, adding a layer of half of the mozzarella, half of the Scamorza and another sprinkle of parmesan cheese over the pasta.
  • Add the rest of the pasta, lay final layer of cheese and bake for 20 minutes. Look at it after 10 mins.  It needs to be brown’n’bubbly…..

                    Now wait for the reaction of your diners!

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