Friday, 30 September 2011

Olive Pesto with roast aubergine


  Basil oil, 30g basil, 30g kamalata
 olives,1/2 clove garlic, 30g parmigiano, salt, baby aubergines, pasta
Serves: 2 Preparation: 30 minutes

Today I treated myself to some Lingue di Suocera squid ink pasta by Pastificio Marella. These long twisted ribbons with "sharp" edges are named Mother in Law's tongues in Italian which always makes me smile - mainly smugly because my MIL to be is so lovely. I couldn't think of a more perfect way to serve this than smothering it with olive pesto and succulent roasted baby aubergines. This Genovese style pesto would go just as beautifully with linguine but if you can get hold of Pastificio Marella products they really are worth a try.

1) Remove the stalk and cut the baby aubergines in half, lengthways. Set them skin side down in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with salt to draw out the bitter juices. Drizzle with a generous slosh of oil and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.

2) Put the pasta on to boil in hot salted water whilst you make the pesto.

3) Genovese style pesto is incredibly fine and involves pulverising the basil literally one leaf at a time in your mortar and pestle - if you don't have the patience then you could use a blender but nothing will release the basil juice and create that silky Genovese texture like the traditional method. 

4) Once the basil is crushed to a fine pulp, add finely diced kamalata olives, minced garlic and parmeggian. Add a glug of basil oil until it has reached the desired consistency. If you can manage not to eat most of it before the pasta is cooked you're made of stronger stuff than I!

5) Once the aubergines have baked, slice them in half again lengthways and stir them into your pesto. Strain the pasta and stir into the pesto, ensuring that the ribbons are thoroughly coated and serve.

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