This is a nice recipe if you fancy a quick but satisfying midweek tea. Ok, I know it’s cheating a bit using bought tagliatelle rather than making it from scratch, but often fresh supermarket pasta is just as good (in fact often better than the pasta I make!). This does however use freshly-made pesto, which is really required and much better than most that is available in jars. Once you get a taste for freshly made pesto, there really is no turning back!
250g fresh tagliatelle
2 large aubergines, cut to 1cm wide slices
For the pesto;
100g fresh watercress
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
50g cashew nuts, lightly toasted
25g vegetarian Parmesan-style hard cheese, grated
5 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Small handful of basil leaves
For the tomato sauce;
1 x 400g tin good quality chopped tomatoes
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbs dried Herbes de Provence
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
2. Put the tomato sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer gently for 5 minutes to combine.
3. In a large casserole dish, arrange the aubergine slices, alternating with the tomato sauce to cover each layer until all is used up. Cover with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, add all of the pesto ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth-ish (I like a bit of crunch).
5. Place the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes until cooked. Rinse and drain.
6. Stir the pesto into the tagliatelle and arrange the pasta over the slices of baked aubergine. Garnish and serve with fresh bread.