AUBERGINE AND ROASTED RED PEPPER STEW

This is one of those lovely gooey aubergine stews, this time mixed with sloppy, intensely flavoured roast red pepper, onion, a hint of chilli and a goodly slug of white wine with flat leaf parsley to pretty. Serve it with short stumpy pasta tossed with Parmesan or over doorstep bruschetta with a generous garlic rub.

Serves 4

Prep: 35 min

Cook: 45 min

4 Romano red peppers

2 large aubergine, approx 600g

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

4 tbsp olive oil

generous pinch chilli flakes

goodly slug of white wine

400g short stumpy pasta such as campanelli, farfalle or fusilli

large knob butter

4 tbsp finely grated Parmesan

25g flat leaf parsley

     Heat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Place the peppers on a small roasting tin and roast for 10 minutes, turn with tongs and repeat, removing to a plate when the skin is lifting and blackening. Cover with a sheet of clingfilm and leave while you get on with the rest of the recipe. Trim and dice the aubergine in small kebab size pieces. Immerse in a bowl of water diluted with 2 tbsp salt. Leave 20 minutes. Halve, peel and finely dice the onion and garlic. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a spacious frying/saut√© pan over a medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic with a generous pinch salt, adjust the heat, stirring often, so the onion softens and lightly colours. Scoop onion and garlic onto a plate. Rinse, drain and pat dry the aubergine. Add remaining olive oil to the oily pan, increase the heat, add the diced aubergine and toss constantly as it sucks up the oil, reducing the heat so it can wilt and soften without scorching. It is ready when buttery soft, somewhat shrunken and the oil expressed so the aubergine is moist and shiny. In between tossing the aubergine, rub the skin off the peppers, halve lengthways and swipe away the seeds. Slice into short ribbons. Add peppers, their juices and onion mix to the softened aubergine with a generous pinch chilli flakes and goodly slug of white wine. Simmer briskly while the pasta cooks. Drain and toss the pasta with the butter and 2 tbsp Parmesan. Stir chopped parsley into the hot aubergine and serve over the pasta with the last of the Parmesan.