Friday, 22 June 2012

Aubergine Dreams

Melanzane con Ragú di Agnello & Risoni
Aubergine with Lamb Ragú & Risoni 

One little aubergine, 1 handful of ground lamb and a handful or two of risoni pasta... and dinner was served- once again, seemingly out of thin air! It is Friday night again... tomorrow will be my weekly excursion to the market hall, ok... but I still had to eat something this evening! It always seems to be the way, that I end up creating a dish from leftover bits and pieces... but I think that is a good thing!

I don't write this little blog purely out of entertainment- this really is what I eat on a day to day basis. Sometimes the ingredients will tend to seem a little repetitive to you maybe... well that is because it takes a guy living on his own a while to use these things up! But I like to keep things honest and I think it is good to share my experience of not wanting to let good food go to waste- because that is the reality of the matter for most of you fine people too!

So... I began with the risoni and to make this I used 2 handfuls of pasta, a fine dice of half of a carrot and a stalk of celery respectively and a handful of finely chopped parsley. That all went into my saucepan, into plenty of well salted water, for 10-12 minutes. Quite a long time for such dainty little pasta pieces... but more than enough time to prepare the lamb and the aubergine...

In a hot, non-stick frying pan, I started the ground meat frying and then added the 2 nice thick slices of eggplant. I seasoned both with salt and pepper, a little crushed garlic and a sprinkle of fresh rosemary. I kept stirring the lamb and occasionally flipping the aubergine slices, so that everything got evenly and nicely browned.

After 5-6 minutes, the meat should be fine, so this is the right time to add some finely chopped Spring onion, a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved, some chopped mint, a bay leaf, a little celery leaf, rosemary and oregano. After 3-4 minutes of frying those ingredients together, add a tablespoon of tomato paste and stir that in well, along with 1 cupful of water. If you are feeling decadent- add wine! 

Reduce this mixture down for a further 2-3 minutes whilst you drain off the risoni and drizzle them lightly with olive oil. Spread them out on your serving plate and then lay out the aubergine slices decoratively. Season gently with a little salt and pepper and then spoon the lamb ragú over the top- and you are ready to go!

A wonderful, Mediterranean meal is done- a treat for your taste buds as much as for your eyes- but truly delicious whichever way you choose to look at it! So pour yourself a nice glass of Corvo... and enjoy!

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