- 400 gr (1 lb) anellini-shaped pasta
- 1 carrot, chopped
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped
- 150 gr (5 oz) seitan, finely chopped
- Tomato sauce
- 8-9 basil leaves, chopped
- 5 long aubergines
- 2 teaspoons vegetable stock
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Black pepper
- Chilli pepper
- Sea salt
Half of my family comes from a Sicilian town near Caltanissetta, but none of them has never made this amazing good, Sicilian recipe for me (maybe because it is typical of Palermo, I guess…).
Clean the aubergines and finely cut 4 of them lengthwise. Put them in a colander with a little bit of salt and a weight on the top to put out all the water they contain.
Chop the remaining aubergine into small cubes and fry it, with a little bit of oil, for about 10 minutes.
In another frying-pan, stir- fry the onion, carrot and celery. Then, add the seitan and the tomato sauce. Add a little bit of stock and let it cook over low heat for about 12 minutes.
Now, fry the slices of the four aubergines in hot oil and let it rest on kitchen paper to remove the excess oil.
Meanwhile, the seitan sauce should be ready, add some salt and two, chopped basil leaves and turn off the heat.
Put the cooked cubes of the aubergine into the food processor with 2 tablespoon of water and the remaining basil leaves.
Cook the anellini pasta in hot salted water and the vegetable stock, drain al dente and mix it with the seitan sauce and the aubergine cream. Add the black pepper, the hot pepper and other salt, if it is necessary.
Bring six cylindrical moulds (the ones to make babà are ok), oil them and sprinkle with the toasted breadcrumbs. Line all the internal part of the moulds with the slices of the aubergines and fill them with the anellini pasta. Press well and close the tops with the other aubergines and sprinkle with other toasted breadcrumbs.
Bake for about 20 minutes at 200°C (400 F) and serve hot.