Thursday, 5 November 2015

Simple Quick Tasty Italian

Zest Mushroom & Smoked Garlic Sauce  355gViolife Prosociano With Parmesan Flavour Dairy Free Cheese Gluten Free, Vegan

We were driving home from work and as usual our conversation turned to 'what shall we have for dinner?'.  It's mid week, we are both tired after work and although the idea of a tasty plateful of food was very high in our minds, neither of us were in much of a mood for doing a massive amount of cooking.  I was quite adamant though; I wanted pasta.

It was time for a rummage among our food supplies.  We had pasta.  That was a good start. I screeched with delight when I found a forgotten jar of Zest Tomato, Mushroom and Smoked Garlic Pasta Sauce.  Quite how it had been forgotten is beyond me as this stuff is amazing but I blame Phil's ample supply of chili sauces that appear to have been building up in front of it in the cupboard.  Now, it is a rare thing that we will buy a jar of pasta sauce but we make the exception with this one.

So pasta and lush pasta sauce; obvious huh?  A second screech of delight emanated from me when I realised that perhaps this whole sudden desire to have pasta had been a subconscious desire or excuse to dip into the Violife Prosociano (Parmesan) we had recently bought on a visit to the Country Store Health Foods in Redruth.  Surely this was a perfect moment to grate a whole heap of that on top of a steaming plate of saucy pasta.  Oh yes it certainly was.

However, it would be pretty lazy if we didn't add in some additional veg to the equation and we had some mushrooms and a pepper in need of use, along with an aubergine.  The pepper, mushrooms, and an onion were sauteed up to bulk out the sauce but I had special plans for the aubergine; simple Sicilian baked aubergine slices.  I'd made these as part of a bigger recipe some months back and had loved them.  They were the perfect easy top off to this plate of simple pasta. These slices sound too simple to be true but seriously the combination of just aubergine, flour and olive oil adds up to so much more than you think it would.

So grab yourself a jar of Zest sauce, treat yourself to a hunk of Prosociano (but leave some for us in the Country Store!), stock up on the pasta and give this aubergine recipe a try to top it off.  You'll have yourself a simple, quick and tasty solution to those 'I really can't be arsed to cook much but I really want something damn good' evenings.

Sicilian Baked Aubergine Slices
Enough to top off a plate for two

1 large aubergine
Touch of salt
Bit of plain flour
Bit of good quality tasty olive oil

Pop the oven on to around 200 degrees C.

Slice the aubergine into thin slices (about 1cm/third of an inch), sprinkle them with salt and leave for about 10 minutes before washing off with clean water.  This supposedly draws the excess water out of the slices and is also meant to make them less bitter.  You don't have to do this but I generally do with this recipe and they turn out real good.  

Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil on a baking tray.  Coat each side of the slices with the flour and pop on to the tray and then drizzle more olive oil on top.

Bake for 10 minutes and flip the slices over and bake for another 10 minutes.  They should be nicely browned and slightly crisp.

Pop them on top of that steamy saucy pasta and grate some of that lush cheese on top.


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