This classy pasta dish is a phenomenal thing to serve at a dinner party for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. It is worth the effort, trust us.
- Coat your aubergines in salt and leave to draw out the moisture for an hour.
- Dry with a tea towel, then fry in a large frying pan in plenty of olive oil until golden and tender. Set aside.
- Heat your oil in a medium sized saute pan and add your garlic. Fry for a couple of mins until golden, then add your tomatoes, basil and salt. Break up your tomatoes with the back of a spoon, then simmer for 15 mins until thick and fragrant. Blitz until fairly smooth.
- In a large rectangular dish greased with butter, arrange aubergine slices so that they cover the base. Top with parmesan and tomato, then continue until all ingredients used - your final layers should be aubergine followed by parmesan.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 mins at 200°C, then leave to chill in the fridge with a weight on top ideally overnight to compress, or for a few hours.
- In a food processor, pulse some stale white bread with basil and sea salt until you have coarse green crumbs.
- Heat some olive oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add your basil crumbs and fry until crisp and golden, stirring often so they don’t burn. Tip out into a bowl to cool.
- Combine your flour and semolina in a bowl, then tip out onto a work surface. Form into a ring, then crack your eggs into the centre. Gradually flick your flour into your eggs and mix with your hand until you have a dough. Work on your work surface until you have a smooth dough, then wrap in cling film and leave to rest on the counter for half an hour.
- Roll out your pasta with a pasta machine to its thinnest setting.
- Cut your pasta into large discs. Place discs of your chilled aubergine inside, top with some fresh mozzarella. Top it with another disc of pasta and seal the edges by pressing them. Cut the edge with a pasta wheel to tidy it up. Leave to rest until your pasta feels leathery to touch.
- In a small saute pan set over a medium heat, add your double cream, butter, parmesan, salt and pepper and heat until your cream comes to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until it has reduced to a thick sauce.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Salt liberally, then add your pasta and boil for 2 mins until just tender but still with a little bite - al dente!
- Add a small ladle of your pasta water to your cream pan and bring to a boil again, simmering until thick. Add your pasta and stir until your sauce perfectly coats your pasta.
- Serve in a bowl and sprinkle with your crumbs. Serve immediately!