Saturday, November 13, 2010


Last night I really wanted to pamper my husband, who's feeling down because of chicken pox, so I created a very special pasta dish with the three ingredients he loves the best: veggies, hazelnuts and anchovies.
The result was amazing to look at because of the bright, shiny colours and mouthwatering for the crunchiness of  hazelnuts.

for 2 people

250 g of trenette or spaghetti
half a red pepper
half a green pepper
half a yellow pepper
1 small aubergine
1 courgette
1 garlic clove
8 anchovies fillets
1 handful of chopped hazelnuts
1 handful of fresh basil leaves
4-5 tablespoons of extravirgin olive oil
half a teaspoon of crushed dry chilli pepper

Wash and drain the vegetables.
Dice the aubergine, sprinkle sea salt all over the cubes then put them in a bowl with a weigh on (the salt and the weigh - it could be a smaller bowl filled with water - will allow the bitter fluid to come out the diced aubergine).
Apart bring water to boil in a large saucepan.
Cut the peppers in halves and remove all the seeds, rinse again and dice them. Cut the courgette in cubes too.
Drain the bitter fluid off the aubergine cubes, rinse and drain them and put them in a very large non-stick pan with the olive oil, the whole garlic clove and the other diced vegetables.
Fry over a high flame and remember to remove the garlic clove before it gets brown. Stir often to avoid burning.
The vegetables are ready when they become kind of crispy on the surfaces and quite soft on the inside. Add a little water if needed. Don't be rushy because it takes a while!
Meanwhile the water into the saucepan should be bubbling. Add about a tablespoon of salt then put the trenette into the boiling water.
Generally you wont' need to add salt in this dish because anchovies are quite salty and you've put salt in the aubergine before cooking them, but this is the moment to check if more salt is needed in your veggies sauce.
Before taking the pan off the heat add the chilli pepper, the chopped anchovies, chopped hazelnut and chopped basil leaves. Drain the trenette and transfer them into the pan together with the vegetables. Stir for about one minute then serve and...buon appetito!

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