Roast egg­plant, tomato and basil spelt pasta

Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - Food -

SERVES 4 // PREP TIME 20 MINS // COOK 15 MINS

Pan­grat­tato is also known as poor man’s parme­san, but we don’t think there’s any­thing poor about it. The crunchy crumbs, here spiked with chilli, add flavour and tex­ture ga­lore. This is as good served at room tem­per­a­ture as it is warm – per­fect for balmy weather.

2 egg­plant, cut into 2cm dice

100 ml exra-vir­gin olive oil

Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, juice of 2

400 gm spelt riga­toni

2 ripe toma­toes, diced

¼ Span­ish onion, thinly sliced

½ cup torn basil, plus ex­tra leaves to serve

CHILLI CRUMBS

70 ml olive oil

50 gm coarse bread­crumbs, from a stale sour­dough loaf

1 gar­lic clove, finely chopped

½ tsp dried chilli flakes

Finely grated rind of ½ lemon

1 Pre­heat oven to 200°C. Com­bine egg­plant, 2 tbsp olive oil, lemon rind and half the juice in a bak­ing tray, sea­son, toss to coat and roast un­til egg­plant is browned and ten­der (10-15 min­utes).

2 For chilli crumbs, com­bine in­gre­di­ents on a sep­a­rate oven tray, sea­son and bake, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til golden brown and crisp (6-7 min­utes).

3 Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boil­ing salted wa­ter un­til al dente (10-12 min­utes), then drain, re­serv­ing 2 tbsp pasta wa­ter, and re­turn pasta and wa­ter to pan. Add egg­plant, tomato, onion, basil, re­main­ing olive oil and re­main­ing lemon juice, sea­son gen­er­ously and toss to com­bine. Di­vide among bowls and serve scat­tered with chilli crumbs. Wine sug­ges­tion Full-bod­ied red made from nero d’Avola.

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