When the hot weather comes it's great being able to make pasta dishes that can be made in advance and kept waiting while you open up a chilled bottle of wine and have a relaxing aperitif while waiting for everyone to come to the table.
Anyone who watches the television series Montelbano will sooner or later hear about a wonderful Sicilian pasta dish called Pasta all Norma, which I have given the recipe for in an earlier post. It has smoked ricotta and aubergines among its ingredients.
Here is a Northern Italian version of Pasta all Norma with mozzarella instead of ricotta.
Summertime Pasta serves 4
400g short pasta
1 mozzarella cut into pieces or a packet of mozzarella balls
1 large aubergine, washed and thinly sliced, Zio Lina's tip is to layer up the sliced aubergines in a salad spinner and sprinkle them with salt. Leave for half an hour and then spin to get out excess moisture.
half a red pepper, washed and cubed
fresh basil leaves
5 cherry tomatoes, halved or 3 larger tomatoes cut into quarters
ground black pepper
In a large non stick pan cook the cubed peppers gently in a small amount of olive oil for 6 - 7 minutes then take them out and put aside.
Add the aubergines to the same pan and cook gently until golden then remove and add the cherry tomatoes and cook them for about 3 minutes.
In the meantime bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and cook the pasta.
In a large salad bowl put olive oil, salt, ground black pepper and fresh basil leaves.
Add the vegetable mixture and then the drained pasta. Mix gently and check the seasoning.
Gently mix in the mozzarella and then let stand.
Add lightly toasted pine nuts if liked.
Serve warm or cold with a green salad.
Hope you like it, Buon appetito
|Prepare the seasonings in a salad bowl|
|Diced red peppers cook gently for 7 minutes|
|When the vegetables are cooked set them aside|
|Add the vegetables to the seasonings in the salad bowl|
|While the pasta is resting have a glass of prosecco with olive and nuts|
|Pronto in tavola|