As an avid home cook, I love it when I can come up with delicious and tasty recipes for my friends and family to enjoy. This was the case with my recent pasta dish which I have lovingly named “Pasta de Nonna”. Nonna in Italian means grandmother and after making and eating this dish a few times, I am convinced that this is the kind of dish an Italian grandmother would make for her 13 grand kids at a moments notice. It is both comforting and fresh all at once. And the great thing about it is that you can switch out the ingredients as you see fit. Especially the toppings at the end.
What you will need:
1 can of good tomatoes
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon of agave or maple syrup
1 spoon of tomato paste
1 zucchini sliced into half moon shapes
1/2 red pepper sliced into square chunks
1/2 eggplant cut up into medium sized squares
3 cloves of garlic
1 spoon of Italian herbs of your choice
2 small shallots or 1/2 red or white onion
Small bunch of fresh parsley
1 packet of linguine, spaghetti or tagliatelli
1 ball of burrata or soft Mozarella cheese
Small bunch of fresh basil
Salt and pepper to serve
- Start by bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add your pasta in to cook for about 10 – 15 minutes stirring occasionally
- Whilst your pasta cooks heat up a teaspoon of olive oil in a deep pan and add in your eggplant. Let cook for a few minutes until golden brown on all sides. Note that eggplant needs a good amount of moisture so feel free to keep adding olive oil as it cooks.
- When it is done, add in the shallots or onion and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes until they are soft.
- Add in red pepper and zucchini with the Italian herbs and let cook for a further 10 minutes or so.
- Add your can of tomatoes with the tomato paste and let reduce a little
- Drain the pasta that you have cooked and add it to your pasta sauce. let simmer for a while then season with salt and pepper and your syrup of choice. I like to use syrup when working with canned tomatoes as I find that it takes away the acidity from the can.
- Lay out cooked pasta on a serving dish and top with the pasta sauce.
- Break up chunks of burrata or mozzarella on top and top of with a healthy dose of freshly cracked black pepper and torn fresh basil and serve.