Rebecca's pasta recipe

...which I may or may nor have stolen off Jamie Oliver and fiddled with
Rebecca Holman
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...which I may or may nor have stolen off Jamie Oliver and fiddled with

So, we’ve decided to feature recipes on the UK site – the US site does such a great job of them, and I reckon we’ve all got a few fantastic recipes to share. 

I was going to kick off by giving you my amazing, foolproof scotch egg recipe, but we’ve been so busy getting the site up and running that I haven’t had any time to actually make any for a while (what – you think I’m going to write up my recipe without a delicious deep-fried egg and sausage-meat ball to tuck into at the same time?).

So, as a starter recipe, Phoebe suggested the pasta dish I made last week, which I’ve carted into work as lunch for several days in a row. Evidence of which can be found here:


Wow, I'm such an amazing cook - check out my perfectly diced aubergine 

This is a variation on a Jamie Oliver dish, and is both totally delicious and takes about 20 minutes to make, start to finish. You will need:

1 aubergineolive oil1 red onion2 garlic cloves 2 red chillis – deseeded 2 400g tins plum tomatoes   1 bunch of fresh basil 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar300g penne pasta (ish – I guessed a bit) 1 ball buffalo mozzarella (the original recipe suggests bog-standard cow mozzarella, but I think this is nicer. It’s also probably why my arteries are furring up AS WE SPEAK!)4 tbps cream (optional – I didn’t include in mine at first, but added in at the last minute)

1. Dice your aubergine into cubes

2. Heat a glug of olive oil in a medium sized saucepan (or large one if you’re prone to spillages like me)

3. Start cooking the aubergine on a medium heat, giving it a stir every few minutes to stop it catching.

4. While the aubergine is cooking, chop up your onion, then add it to the pan once the aubergine has softened and started to brown slightly

5. Once the onion has also started to soften, add the crushed garlic and chopped up de-seeded chilli allowing to cook for a few minutes.

6. Add both tins of tomatoes, crushing up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, reduce heat to a simmer.

7. Cook the penne in salted boiling water for 10-15 minutes, until it’s al dente (less if it’s fresh pasta).

8. Drain the pasta, reserving a tiny bit of the cooking water in the pan. Add a little more olive oil and toss.

9. Add the torn basil leaves and balsamic vinegar to the aubergine sauce, to taste, plus salt and pepper.

10. After a few more minutes, take off the heat. If you want to add cream, now’s the time.

11. Toss the penne in the aubergine sauce, tear up the mozzarella into chunks and stir into the pasta mix.

12. Serve onto individual plates – the mozzarella will start to melt and be all amazing and stringy at this point.

The recipe suggests parmesan as well, but it gets a bit cheese overkill for my tastes.

And then: nom, nom, nom.


Man, I look sleazy here...