Mediterranean Pasta

This is a lovely pasta dish full of strong summery flavours and very redolent of the vibrant colours and tastes of Mediterranean food.  I’ve used brown rice pasta here as I think it’s much the nicest of the gluten free pastas, but use whatever you can get really.  The sauce would also be great over polenta – either wet or set and baked or fried in fingers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 – 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 2 medium aubergines chopped into dice
  • 1 red, 1 green and 1 yellow bell pepper chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2 x 14 oz tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • A big handful (or more) of good black olives pitted
  • A tablespoon of capers
  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence or dried mixed herbs. Alternatively, if you have any handy, a large sprig of fresh thyme is wonderful here
  • A slug of good balsamic vinegar
  • 300g of pasta of choice
  • Toasted pine nuts, chopped parsley and basil to garnish

Method:

  • Sauté the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until beginning to soften
  • Add the two chopped aubergines and keep them moving. Salt the mixture lightly to encourage them and the onions to release their juices
  • Add chopped green, red and yellow peppers and sauté along with the other vegetables for a few minutes
  • Stir in the two cans of chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, the black olives, the capers and the balsamic vinegar and the herbs. Simmer for at least half an hour (longer is better) to bring the flavours together and let the aubergine get really melty, the peppers softened and the olive flavour permeate everything
  • Meantime, cook your pasta) as per the instructions on the packet.
  • When the pasta is done, stir it into the sauce and adjust the seasoning to taste. Don’t be afraid to add a squeeze of lemon juice if you think it needs it – the acidity of tinned tomatoes varies considerably and lemon juice is nearly always a good addition

Top with a handful of toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley and basil.  Serve and enjoy!

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