I made this pasta with Erika, my half ligurian- half sicilian friend. Making regional dishes always find someone that knows how to do better or that tells you that there is something wrong or that is not authentic enough or that his granny makes it differently!
I promise I made it with all the respect for Sicilian cuisine in mind and Erika even brought some ricotta salata sent by her dad to finish it! Apart that, all the ingredients I used are easily found in all UK shops.
It is not too quick to prepare but worth all the time!
2 large aubergines
1 tin of tomato polpa or passata
some leaves of basil
250 gr of pasta, rigatoni/paccheri
extra virgin olive oil
Wash your aubergines.
Cut one in slices 1 cm deep and then in cubes, not too small.
Use the other aubergine to make the fried aubergines to decorate or to eat on the side. Cut it in really thin slices and place them in a plate.
Place them into a colander in the sink, sprinkle with sea salt to let them lose the water, then set aside for around 20 minutes and then pat dry from the water with the help of a kitchen towel or kitchen paper.
Heat 2 fingers of sunflower oil in a pan and once hot, start frying the cubes and after the slices. Use two plates with some kitchen paper to place your aubergines after cooking them to absorb the extra oil.
In another pan prepare your tomato sauce.
Heat two spoons of olive oil and add your tomato sauce with some basil leaves and cook it for ten minutes at medium heat, stirring from time to time. Add two pinches of salt.
When your sauce is ready add half of the aubergines in cubes.
Cook the sauce until it tickens, it doesnt need to be liquid
Start now cooking your pasta in a pan with boiling water.
When your pasta is al dente move it to the pan with the sauce with the help of a slotted spoon.
If you see your pasta is dry, add a spoon of cooking water.
Mix your pasta with the sauce, let it absorb it and stir in the meantime with a wood spoon.
Serve and add some ricotta salata (or parmesan) on top! Decorate with the chips of aubergines and some basil leaves.
Eat the rest of the aubergines with a bit of salt on top as contorno or before pasta, you will love it.