Gino D'Acampo is back in the kitchen. So, if you're sick of the chocolate eggs and need some veg then Gino is here to show us how to make a tasty pasta bake filled with aubergines, red onions and with a parmesan topping.
Never cook onion and garlic together... they fight each other
– Gino D'Acampo
2 large aubergines, trimmed
3x400g tinned chopped tomatoes
150ml olive oil
15 basil leaves
2 large red onions, peeled and finely sliced
80g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper to taste
Place the aubergines on a chopping board and cut into strips about 1cm wide and 5cm long fingers, discard the centre part containing the seeds.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the aubergines and fry for 8 minutes until golden brown. Stir occasionally.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the aubergines from the pan and drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with a little salt.
Fry the onions in the same frying pan and same oil you cooked the aubergines for 8 minutes. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add in the tomatoes with the basil, stir all together and simmer on a medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add in the aubergines, stir and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Fill with 5 litre of water a large saucepan and take to the boil. Add in 1 tablespoon of salt and cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente. Stir occasionally to prevent from sticking. “To get the al dente perfect bite, cook the pasta 1 minute less then instructed on the packet”.
Drain the pasta and tip back into the same saucepan where you cooked it. Take the saucepan on a low heat, pour over the aubergine sauce and half of the Parmesan cheese. Stir all together for 30 seconds, allowing all the flavours to combine properly.
Transfer into an ovenproof dish big enough to contain all the pasta and sprinkle the top with the remaining Parmesan cheese.
Place under a hot grill for 10 minutes until the top gets bubbly and crispy. Remove the dish from under the grill and leave to rest for 5 minutes before portioning.