Pasta baked with aubergines

PUBLISHED: 16:53 08 November 2007 | UPDATED: 15:19 12 May 2010

Ingredients 450g (1lb) penne or short pasta 2 aubergines 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 medium onion, chopped 6 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for deep-frying 900g (2lb) fresh or canned plum tomatoes 2 tbsp unsalted butter 30g (1oz) flour 16 fl oz milk 120g (4o

Ingredients

450g (1lb) penne or short pasta

2 aubergines

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 medium onion, chopped

6 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for deep-frying

900g (2lb) fresh or canned plum tomatoes

2 tbsp unsalted butter

30g (1oz) flour

16 fl oz milk

120g (4oz) grated Parmesan

a handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped

salt and pepper

Method

THIS makes a good supper dish or starter for a dinner party. Enough for six.

Saute the onion and garlic in 4 tbsp oil over low heat until soft, then add tomatoes and bring to the boil. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until you have a thickish sauce, about 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil for deep-frying in a large pan. Add the aubergines, cut into slices, and fry until golden, then drain on paper towels.

In a non-stick pan, melt the butter, add the flour and stir well.

Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly and bring to the boil. Add 2/3 of the grated Parmesan with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and boil until only just soft, drain and toss with 2 tbsp olive oil. Cover the bottom of an ovenproof casserole with 1/3 of the tomato sauce, then layers of pasta, cheese sauce, aubergine, finishing with basil leaves.

Repeat the layers once more, then top with the rest of the tomato sauce and sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan on top.Transfer to a pre-heated oven, 180 deg C/350 deg F/Gas Mark 4, for 20 minutes, until bubbling.

Serve immediately.

JUDY BROADWAY

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