Thursday 18 November 2021


My gosh! It has very much been a hectic couple of weeks that felt like Pre-covid times in terms of work, social engagements and life admin so sadly my cooking and restaurant reviewing had to be put a little on the back burner. I did however make the most AMAZING pasta alla norma, that iconic Italian pasta dish which makes elevates the humble aubergine to the star of the show, which I simple HAD to share with you in the meantime! It's the sort of dinner that is fun and easy to make but tastes like a million dollars and hey we can all do with that!

Serves 2


  • 3 Aubergines
  • 120ml Olive Oil
  • 5 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 mild dried chillies
  • 2 x 400g tins of Plum Tomatoes
  • 5 large Oregano Sprigs
  • 1 tsp Caster Sugar
  • 500g Spaghetti
  • 45g ricotta salata (a saltier, more grumbly version of ricotta which is SO good - I found it at foodie haven Eataly)
  • 20g Basil Leaves, torn
  • Salt & Black Pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 220c.
  • Using a peeler and working from top to bottom of each aubergine, shave off long alternating strips of peel so that they look striped, like zebras. 
  • Cut widthways into 1cm thick slices and place in a bowl with 75ml of oil, 3/4 teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of paper. 
  • Mix well, then spread out on two large baking paper-lined trays. 
  • Roast for 30-35 minutes, until dark golden-brown. 
  • Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  • Put 2 tablespoons of oil into a frying pan or pot and place on a medium high heat. 
  • Add the garlic and chillies and fry for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the garlic is golden brown (but not burnt!). 
  • Add the tinned tomatoes, oregano, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a grind of pepper. 
  • Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 10 minutes, until the sauce is thick.
  • Remove the oregano sprigs and stir in the aubergine. 
  • Set aside.
  • Cook the pasta according to packet instructions and once al dente, drain and retain some cooking water.
  • Add the spaghetti to the sauce and mix well, adding two thirds of the pecorino and basil, add a few tablespoons of the cooking water if the sauce has become too thick.
  • Divide between two bowls, then top with the remaining pecorino and basil.

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