The most common vegetables in Provencale cooking -aubergines, courgettes, peppers, tomatoes and onions - make a colourful and delicious sauce for pasta. The fusilli pasta used in this recipe comes in the shape of small twists. If you have a bottle of red wine open, add a glass to give the sauce a lift. Freshly grated Parmesan or Cheddar can be served separately for sprinkling over the pasta. Serve with a mixed or green salad for a healthy vegetarian main course, or it can be eaten on its own as a snack.
Preparation time : 10 - 15 minutes,
Cooking time : 45 minutes,
Calories per serving: 180
10 oz 10 oz (275g) fusilli pasta
2 medium-sized courgettes
1 small aubergine
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 medium onion
1-2 cloves garlic
1 lb (450 g) tinned chopped tomatoes or
fresh ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried herbes de PrOvence
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 glass red wine (optional)
3 oz (75 g) Parmesan or Cheddar cheese (optional)
1. Trim the courgettes, peel the aubergine, and halve and de-seed the peppers, then cut the vegetables into thin strips, about 1/2 in (15 mm) thick. Thinly slice the onion and crush the garlic. If using fresh tomatoes, plunge them into a bowl of hot water for 30 seconds, then cold for 1 minute, until cool enough to peel off the skins with your fingers.
2. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan or casserole dish. Add the chopped onion and cook over a gentle heat for about 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft. Add the peppers and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring often. Then mix in the courgette and aubergine strips, and the garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring, then add the tomatoes, tomato puree and herbs. Season to taste.
3. Bring to the boil, stirring often. Then lower the heat, half cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally and add a little water, or wine, if the sauce seems dry. Warm a large serving bowl.
4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, leaving it cooked but slightly firm. Grate the cheese if using it.
5. Drain the pasta and turn into the warmed bowl. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss well. Garnish with slivers of Parmesan and serve.
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