Sicilians love aubergines cooked every which way. Try them in this summery pasta dish
- 4-5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, finely sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 1 small dried red chilli, chopped
- handful oregano or marjoram, roughly chopped
- 2 medium aubergines, diced into 2½ cm/1in cubes
- 50g raisins
- 4 large tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tsp tomato purée
- 2 tbsp baby capers, rinsed, drained and roughly chopped
- 2-3 tbsp good quality red wine vinegar
- 400g fusilli
- small handful mint, roughly chopped
- 50g pine nuts, toasted
- aged ricotta or vegetarian Parmesan-style cheese (try Bookhams 'Not just a pasta cheese'), to serve
- 2kg beef sirloin joint
- 3 red chillies
- 5 garlic cloves
- few thyme sprigs or 1 tsp dried thyme
- 8 tbsp olive oil
- 50g pine nut
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- good handful parsley, roughly chopped
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Wipe the meat with kitchen paper and set, fat-side down, in a roasting tin. Finely chop 2 chillies, 3 garlic cloves and the thyme leaves. Mix with 3 tbsp of the oil, season, then massage over the meat. Turn the meat, fat-side up, and massage in the remaining flavoured oil.
- Roast the joint for 40-50 mins for medium rare, 10-15 mins longer for medium. If you have a meat thermometer, the temperature will read 55C for medium rare and 62C for medium.
- Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan until lightly coloured, then tip into a bowl. Heat 1 tbsp oil in the pan, thinly slice the remaining garlic cloves and fry quickly until lightly browned. Tip into a separate bowl. Finely chop the remaining chilli and add to the bowl with the mustard, vinegar and seasoning. Whisk to mix, then whisk in the last 4 tbsp oil and half of the chopped parsley.
- Let the meat rest for 20 mins, then thinly slice and arrange over a platter. Spoon over a little dressing, and scatter with the pine nuts and the rest of the parsley. Serve the remaining dressing separately.
- 2 aubergines, halved lengthways
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 250g bulghar wheat
- 2 large onions, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 400g can chickpeas,rinsed and drained
- handful each coriander and mint, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- juice and zest 1 lemon
- Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Score a criss-cross pattern in the aubergine with the tip of a knife. Sit in a roasting tin, brush with 2 tbsp olive oil, season, then roast for 30 mins.
- Meanwhile, tip the bulghar into a pan with 1 litre of water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 mins until soft. Cook the onions in 1 tbsp olive oil until golden and soft, add the cumin, then cook for 1 min more. Drain the bulghar and stir into the onions with the chickpeas. Season.
- Mix the remaining oil with the herbs, garlic, lemon zest, juice and seasoning. Pile a quarter of the bulghar mix on each plate, top with half an aubergine and drizzle over some dressing.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 courgettes, thinly sliced (try to use a mixture of different varieties if you can find them)
- 2 x 250g tubs ricotta
- 4 eggs
- large handful basil leaves, shredded
- grating of nutmeg
- 50g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 500g block puff pastry
- dash of flour, for dusting
- large handful pine nuts
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Heat half the olive oil in a frying pan. Sizzle the courgettes for 5 mins until golden around the edges, then set aside. In a bowl, beat the ricotta with the eggs, basil, nutmeg, half the Parmesan and the garlic. Set aside.
- Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a rough round about 40cm wide, then transfer to a baking tray. Spread the pastry with the ricotta mix, leaving a 4cm border. Press the courgette slices into the ricotta, then scatter over the pine nuts and remaining Parmesan.
- Bring the sides up over the edge of the ricotta, pinch to encase the filling, then bake for 30 mins until the filling is puffed up and golden. Leave to cool slightly and enjoy warm or cold with a crisp green salad.