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Penne with Fennel, Lemon, Crème Fraiche and Wilted Baby Leaves
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Put some fusilli on to cook. Meanwhile, grill some oil-brushed aubergine slices, wilt some spinach in boiling water, and fry sliced mushrooms with onion and garlic. Put the cooked fusilli into an oven dish and top with layers of aubergine, spinach, mozzarella, and mushrooms. Cover with a tin of chopped chopped tomatoes, some breadcrumbs, more mozzarella and grated Cheddar. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
This is based on a marvellous recipe from Viana la Place's inspiring book, Verdura. Sauté a couple of cloves of chopped garlic and a pinch of dried chilli flakes in olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Then add around 700g peeled, seeded tomatoes, roughly chopped. Season, then bubble away until resolved into a soft sauce. Blitz in a liquidiser then return to the pan to reheat. Use as it is, or add strips of grilled pepper (you can buy these pre-prepared). Serve with cavatappi.
Roast chunks of butternut squash with olive oil, plenty of salt and pepper and a grating of nutmeg. Meanwhile, put on a pan of wholewheat fusilli. In a frying pan, cook some finely sliced onion in olive oil until meltingly soft. Toss the roasted squash with the hot pasta and onions, adding a handful of toasted pine nuts, a slug of olive oil and plenty of grated parmesan.
Stir soft goat's cheese into piping hot radiatori with finely sliced red onions that have been cooked until soft in olive oil, then seasoned with a little sugar and balsamic vinegar.
Add shredded fresh basil, season well and top with coarse breadcrumbs, fried until crisp in garlic butter.
This recipe was first published in April 2002.