Fusilli with Eggplants and Peppers

Fusilli alla Siracusana

 

Pasta Curta chi Milinjiani, Pipa, Cappareddi e Sardi Salati

 

                         Fusilli

 

This sauce, made in Syracuse and in the eastern part of Sicily, combines the faint bitterness of the eggplants, the sweetness of the peppers, the pungent flavor of the capers, the strong taste of anchovies, the sharp savor of the tomatoes, the aggressive smell of garlic and the aroma of basil, to create a complex condiment for pasta that is appreciated in the familiar cooking and in gourmet restaurants.  
When you add the flavor of the fresh cold pressed olive oil with a sprinkle of local pecorino Pepato cheese (Pecorino cheese spiced with black peppercorns), you have made a hearty dish that appeals to all your senses.

 

SERVES 4 TO 6

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. fusilli, twist or any short pasta
  • 2 small Italian eggplants, cubed at about 1 inch, sprinkle with salt and place in a colander for 30 minutes
  • 1 cup of canned peeled tomatoes, diced
  • 2 sweet roasted peppers, cut roughly
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 6 chopped basil leaves
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of capers, in brine
  • 2 salted anchovies, rinsed, boned and chopped
  • ¼ lb. grated Pecorino cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 basil leaves for garnish
PREPARATION

Pat dry eggplants with a rag or paper towels and set aside.
Over medium heat, in a large sauté pan combine ½ cup of olive oil, and the garlic, cook it until garlic is golden brown. Add eggplants, cooking and turning it for about 4 minutes. Add peeled tomato, sweet peppers, capers, anchovies and the chopped basil. Taste for salt and pepper and simmer for about 15 minutes, turning it occasionally.

Peppers & Eggplants 

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook al dente the fusilli, following manufacturers’ recommendation.


When pasta is ready, drain and transfer to the sauté pan with the sauce. Keeping on low heat, toss the pasta with the sauce and mix well.
Pour pasta in a large serving bowl and garnish with basil and some Pecorino cheese. Serve with additional grated Pecorino cheese on the side.