Rather than settle for second best, an ambitious cook makes fare that meets Sicilian standards. Our homecook hero, Febronia Sidoti has never been one to shy away from a challenge, whether it's in the kitchen or in life.
Photo: Marco Del Grande
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- 8 eggplants
- Salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 900g ripe tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2-3 sprigs basil
- 680g macaroni
- 110g salami, sliced
- 110g mozzarella, diced
- 2/3 cup grated parmesan
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
Wipe and peel eggplants and cut into 1cm slices. Sprinkle the slices with salt and place on a rack or a tilted plate to drain off excess liquid then dry well.
Heat oil and fry the eggplant slices, in batches, until brown on both sides. Place eggplant on paper towels to soak up excess oil then line the bottom and sides of a 30cm baking dish, ensuring the slices overlap. Leftover slices should be finely chopped and set aside.
Peel and chop the tomatoes, discarding seeds. Saute garlic until brown then discard. Add the tomatoes to the garlic pan, season with the salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, over high heat for 20 minutes. Stir in the basil towards the end.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the macaroni until al dente. Drain pasta then place in a bowl and mix through the salami, mozzarella, parmesan, tomato sauce and chopped eggplant.
Place the egg slices on top of the eggplant in a layer on the bottom of the dish. Add the macaroni mixture and bake in a moderately hot preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to rest for 2 minutes then turn out of the dish.
Serve hot with extra grated cheese.