Monday, 29 December 2008

Stuffed Aubergines

Serves 4

225g dried penne or other short pasta shapes
4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
2 aubergines
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g canned chopped tomatoes
2 tsp dried oregano
55g mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
25g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
5 tbsp dry breadcrumbs
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and 1 tbsp of the olive oil, bring back to the boil and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the pasta is just tender, but still firm to the bite. Drain, return to the pan, cover and keep warm.
Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and score around the inside with a sharp knife, being careful not to pierce the shells. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Brush the insides of the shells with olive oil. Chop the flesh and set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan. Fry the onion over a low heat for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add the chopped aubergine and fry, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and oregano and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pasta.
Brush a baking tray with oil and arrange the aubergine shells in a single layer. Divide half of the tomato and pasta mixture between them. Scatter over the slices of mozzarella cheese, then pile the remaining tomato and pasta mixture on top. Mix the Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top, patting lightly into the mixture.
Bake in a preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown. Serve hot.

***
I froze what I didn't use and I'm not entirely sure how it's going to be once I do use it. But you have to try!
It was really nice, although it did feel like I was never going to get the tomato and pasta mixture to all fit into the aubergine shells.

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