I am a huge pasta lover. I mean really huge. I mean I could eat pasta 7 days per week. Luckily I am not so my silhouette can be appreciated by thousands of female fans around the world. Yeah…right…and then I woke up.
Back to the point now: there are times that I am craving something more elaborate than a spaghetti dish with a sauce. Pasta in the oven with some creamy bechamel on top. But it needs something more than pasta with cream so why not add vegetables in a tomato sauce" A few pieces of lardons or pancetta here and there and we are ready to go.
It’s a dish that will impress family and friends. It is also a great leftover for next day’s lunch.
Let’s go then!
Ingredients (serves 4 people):
500 gr (1 lb) penne or ziti pasta.
2 aubergines cut in small cubes.
2 courgettes cut in small cubes.
1 red pepper finely chopped.
1 finely chopped onion.
3 finely-chopped garlic cloves.
1 chilli pepper chopped.
100 gr (0.22 lb) lardons or pancetta cubes
4 sweet and juicy tomatoes.
3 teaspoons tomato paste.
A bunch of finely-chopped flat-leaf parsley.
½ cup of extra virgin olive oil.
Salt and ground pepper.
100 gr (0.22 lb) shredded mozzarella cheese.
100 gr (0.22 lb) other shredded Gouda or Gruyère cheese.
For the bechamel sauce:
750 ml (26 fl oz) of milk.
2 table spoons of butter.
50 gr (1.7 oz) plain white flour.
½ teaspoon of nutmeg.
Add the olive oil in a large frying pan and warm up in medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, courgettes, peppers and aubergines and mildly fry them until softened. I prefer it when the vegetables are cut into similar sizes, it’s easier to get the full taste of the dish in your mouth. Add the lardons or pancetta and let it cook for ~ 5 minutes.
Preparing the sauce
Chop the tomatoes in large pieces and put them in a blender. Add the tomatoes from the blender to the pan, together with tomato paste and ½ cup of hot water. Add salt and ground pepper, stir well and let ...