Thursday, 4 July 2013

Tomato, Mozzarella and Aubergine Pasta Bake

Pasta bakes are for those afternoons when there are swimming lessons after school, everyone gets home late and tired, and dinner needs to be on the table pretty quickly. The oven has an automatic timer, so it's just a case of popping the bake into the oven, setting the duration and end time, and being greeted by the gorgeous smell of melting cheese as you walk through the door. No photo unfortunately, as this was one I prepared the evening before and left in the fridge for our nanny to put on the next day.


  • 200g dried casarecce pasta (penne, fusilli or other such pasta shapes are a good alternative)
  • 125g mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 200g aubergine, cut into 1.5cm cubes
  • 2 dessert spoons of pancetta cubes or sliced streaky bacon
  • 400g Jamie Oliver's simple tomato sauce - see recipe here - or use a ready made tomato pasta sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • A handful of grated parmesan
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Ground black pepper
Serves 3-4


  • Cook the casarecce pasta in a large pan of salted, boiling water. Remove from the heat and drain when the pasta is 3-4 minutes short of the cooking time on the instructions
  • Heat a couple of teaspoons of olive oil in a heavy based pan. When the oil is hot, add the pancetta cubes and fry until browned 
  • Add the aubergine cubes to the pan and fry on a moderate heat for 5 minutes, until the aubergine begins to colour and shrink. Add the crushed garlic and fry gently for 1 minute
  • Add the tomato sauce to the pan and heat until simmering gently. Add the drained pasta, season with ground black pepper to taste, and stir to combine the ingredients throroughly
  • Place the pasta mixture into a baking dish and dot the cubes of mozzarella evenly around the top of the pasta
  • Sprinkle over the parmesan cheese and place in the oven at 185 degrees for 30 minutes
  • Serve with a simple green salad

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