01 02 03 Twinkling Tina Cooks: Pasta Alla Trapanese 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Pasta Alla Trapanese

Italian cuisine and pasta have become synonymous everywhere. But somehow I have seen people here (in India) obsessed with only two kinds of pasta – in red sauce or in white sauce. Well you can make pastas even without the same old sauce. How about pasta with pesto? A classic recipe from Trapani – it’s a small province of Sicily.

Italians love their pomodoro & basilico and so do I. [tomato & basil respectively]. This is a David Rocco inspired recipe btw.  

All that you need:
  1. Tomato – 3 chopped
  2. Garlic – 4-6 cloves
  3. Eggplant – 1 sliced thin
  4. Potato – 1 sliced thin
  5. Spaghetti - 250g (you can use a pasta of your choice)
  6. Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 1 cup (for pesto as well as frying the potato & eggplant)
  7. Salt – to taste
  8. Oregano – 1 teaspoon
  9. Thyme – 1 teaspoon
  10. Basil – a hand full
  11. Pecorino cheese – as much you like!

Let’s get started:

Making this Pesto alla Trapanese is very simple.

Put the tomatoes, garlic & basil leaves in a grinder and coarsely grind them. Add salt and half a cup of extra virgin olive oil to make a smooth pesto. [Traditionally these are supposed to be done in a large stone mortar & pestle – but I don’t have it so I am sticking to my blender]

In a frying pan heat some olive oil and pan fry the eggplant & potato slices. [Before frying I dust them with little salt usually, that helps is reducing the water and lessens the frying time]. Take out of flame and drain excess oil on a kitchen paper.

Cook the spaghetti in hot boiling salted water for 15 mins or till it’s just becoming soft. Don’t overcook it – it will just start falling apart.

Now here’s my twist – Put the tomato pesto in the frying pan, add the cooked spaghetti & fried potato & eggplant and toss them together. Add some thyme and 1 ladle of the pasta water. It really helps to get the pasta together.

Add a generous amount of grated pecorino cheese.

And you are done – add a sprinkling of oregano and enjoy!

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