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Penne norma

A recipe from The Silver Spoon

Preparation: 1 hour

Cooking: 35-40 minutes

Serves: 4 people

Ingredients:

2 small aubergines (eggplant), thinly sliced

150ml (¼ pint) (⅔ cup) olive oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

350g (12oz) tinned (canned) chopped tomatoes or 500 ml (18fl oz) (2¼ cups) passata (bottled, strained tomatoes)

6 fresh basil leaves, torn

350g (12oz) penne

100g (3½oz) (scant ½ cup) ricotta salata cheese, grated

salt and pepper

Method:

Put the aubergine slices into a colander, sprinkle each layer with salt and leave to drain for 30 minutes, then rinse and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Heat 6 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan. Add the aubergine slices and cook in batches over a medium heat for 5–10 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove with a fish slice and drain on kitchen paper.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a saucepan. Add the garlic, tomatoes and basil, season with salt and pepper and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender. Process to a purée.

Cook the penne in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and tip into a warmed serving dish.

Sprinkle with half the ricotta, spoon the tomato sauce over it and arrange the aubergine slices on top.

Sprinkle with remaining ricotta and serve without tossing.