Eggplant, bacon & tomato fusilli
MRS I love cooking with eggplants in the late summer and early autumn while it’s still warm – we grow them in the garden and they provide a nice base or this chunky sauce. The bacon here is optional but it gives everything a lovely salty, smokiness that takes it to the next level.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra if necessary
1 red onion, sliced
1 eggplant, cut into 1 cm cubes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 free-range bacon rashers, sliced
1 × 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
pinch of salt flakes
400 g fusilli pasta
100 g feta, crumbled
1 handful parsley, roughly chopped (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for 1–2 minutes, until slightly softened. Add the eggplant and oregano, toss to coat in the olive oil and cook for 2–3 minutes, adding a splash more oil if the eggplant absorbs it all and the pan is looking dry. Add the bacon and toss to combine, then cook for another 3–4 minutes, until the eggplant is tender. Stir in the tomatoes, vinegar, tomato paste and salt and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and leave to cook for 10–15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and reduced.
Meanwhile, bring a separate large saucepan of water to the boil, add the fusilli and cook according to the packet instructions. Reserving a small cup of the pasta cooking water, drain the fusilli, then add it to the pan with the eggplant sugo. Toss everything together, adding a splash of the pasta cooking water, then divide among bowls. Scatter over the feta and parsley and serve.
Recipe extract from Mr & Mrs Wilkinson's How it is at Home (Hardie Grant) You can follow Sharlee on Instagram @sharleegibb and her hastag #howitisathome for her adventures cooking for kids in a busy household.