This colourful dish reminds me of traffic lights, and has so much flavour. The addition of pesto makes any pasta, gluten free or not, a delight. If you don’t like aubergine then courgette works just as well. The pesto recipe is at the bottom of the post and you can use coriander, basil, parsley, oregano or a bit of mint or a combination of these herbs to make a pesto of your choice. We tend to play around with the nuts in the pesto depending on what’s in the cupboard, as all different types give a nice crunch and flavour….
Pesto ingredients; see the bottom of this post for ingredients and instructions on making Pesto (you can just use basil as in this recipe, or a combination of herbs such as basil and parsley like in the pesto recipe below)
• Two full handfuls of gluten free pasta, cooked according to packet instructions
• 20 baby plum / cherry tomatoes, cut in half (I happened to have some yellow ones which made this dish look so colourful)
• 1 medium sized aubergine sliced lengthways into 4-6 strips, about 1cm in width
• Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Heat the griddle over a medium to high heat and add a tiny bit of oil to smear over the surface. Add the aubergine strips and cook until they have that lovely charred look underneath then flip over (est. 5 mins each side). I usually season the aubergines at this point. When they have cooked on the other side remove and allow to cool slightly.
When cooking gluten free pasta I find extra starch comes off into the water which I tend to remove while the pasta is cooking. I also cook the pasta slightly less than advised on the packet, mainly because gluten free pasta overcooked can become very gelatinous and sticky! Take a look at the bottom of this post on making a pesto which you can do while the pasta is cooking.
Now the aubergines have cooled cut them into smaller strips and re-heat along with the sliced tomatoes on the griddle. Do not cook the tomatoes you are just warming them through.
Once the pasta has cooked and you have made the pesto combine the two. One tablespoon of pesto per person is fine.
Serve the pasta and top with the griddled vegetables. Sprinkle over some extra parmesan cheese if you like or even some extra fresh chopped basil. Marvellous.
Time: 30 minutes
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
4 servings: one tablespoon per serving of pasta is fine
Ingredients & Instructions:
2 handfuls of picked mixed basil and parsley leaves (or just one or the other)
Put these in a blender…
Add a Large pinch of salt & 4 tbsp. infused garlic oil
Crush a handful of nuts; we used macadamia but the original is of course pine nuts, however cashews & peanuts are all just as good (and cheaper)
Add the crushed nuts and grate 90g Parmesan or Parmigiano Reggiano or Manchego cheese and add this to the blender and mix. Don’t over blend it; small bits of nuts provide a nice crunch and texture.
It should look something like this……
Add the pesto to the pasta and mix, adding a bit of pasta water if needed to loosen the mix (couple of tablespoons). But don’t overdo the pasta water as it will dilute the flavour of the pesto! You may need to add some pasta water when blending the pesto rather than afterwards. You can do this while the pasta is cooking and you’re making the pesto. Serve with some extra grated parmesan cheese.
Time: 10 minutes
Preparation: 10 minutes (make the pesto while the pasta is cooking)
Cooking: 10 minutes