Meals and Courses

  • 1 aubergine, cut into 1 cm (½ inch) slices
  • 2 courgettes, cut into 1 cm (½ inch) slices
  • 100 ml (3½ fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality aged balsamic vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 20 g (¾ oz) basil, roughly chopped
  • 20 g (¾ oz) mint, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers in brine, rinsed and drained
  • 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 40 g (1½ oz) pine nuts
  • 200 g (7 oz) dried conchiglie
  • salt

Heat a ridged griddle pan over a high heat until smoking. Toss the aubergines and courgettes with 4 tablespoons of the oil in a bowl. Add to the pan, in batches, and cook for 1–2 minutes on each side until well charred and tender all the way through.

As you remove the batches from the pan, cut the courgette slices into 3 and the aubergine slices in half. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl with the remaining oil, vinegar, garlic, herbs, capers and chilli, and toss well to combine. Season with salt and leave to marinate for at least 20 minutes, or up to overnight, covered, in the refrigerator.

Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan over a low heat, stirring frequently, for 2–3 minutes, or until golden. Stir into the griddled vegetables.

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water according to the packet instructions until al dente. Drain, refresh in cold water, then drain again thoroughly before stirring into the prepared griddled vegetables. Leave to stand for 10 minutes for the flavours to mingle before serving.

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