Foodie Friday: This is a pantry-inspired pasta, that is easy to make when the cupboard is almost bare and tastes great.


  • 3 large eggplants, alternately peeled in strips and cut into 3cm dice
  • 500g dried orecchiette
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tablespoons tiny capers
  • 4 anchovies
  • 3 handfuls fresh oregano leaves
  • 250ml dry white wine
  • 100ml decent quality balsamic vinegar
  • salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 80g grana padano, finely grated
  • 300g fresh ricotta


1. Cook the eggplant in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Drain well, gently pressing out any excess moisture.

2. Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until just al dente.

3. Meanwhile, in a wide-based pot over medium heat, heat the oil for two minutes. Add the garlic, chilli, capers, anchovies and oregano and cook for two minutes. Add the eggplant, stir through, add the wine and cook until almost dry. Drizzle over the balsamic and cook out for a couple of minutes.

4. Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the cooking water, and add to the pot. Stir through the pasta, adding a little of the cooking water and/or oil if needed. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, and stir through half the parmesan.

5. Serve in shallow bowls with the ricotta crumbled over the pasta and the remaining parmesan on the side.