Sicilians have an undying love for eggplant and enjoy them in countless ways. Treat yourself to the taste of this delicious pasta dish that exudes the essence of summer. The combination of tender eggplant, toasted pine nuts and juicy raisins creates a symphony of flavor and texture. Each bite reveals a harmonious blend of Mediterranean ingredients that will transport your palate to the sun-drenched shores of Sicily. Be enchanted by the tempting aromas and amazing taste of this Sicilian fusilli recipe with eggplant, pine nuts and raisins.
- 4-5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 small dried red chili, chopped
- a handful of oregano or marjoram, roughly chopped
- 2 medium eggplants, cut into 2½ cm cubes
- 50g raisins
- 4 large tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons baby capers, rinsed, drained and roughly chopped
- 2-3 tbsp high quality red wine vinegar
- 400g fusilli
- small handful of mint, roughly chopped
- 50g pine nuts, roasted
- for serving, aged ricotta or vegetarian parmesan cheese (try Bookham’s “Not Just a Pasta Cheese”)
- In a heavy-based pan, heat half a tablespoon of oil and gently fry the onion, garlic and chilli with half the oregano until soft.
- In the meantime, heat 3-4 tablespoons of oil in another pan and fry the aubergines in it. Once cooked, add to onion mixture.
- Fry the raisins in another half a tablespoon of oil and, when they have risen, add them to the eggplant mixture.
- Add tomatoes, puree and remaining oregano. Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes to allow all the flavors to develop.
- Finally add the capers and vinegar and cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water over low heat.
- If the mixture becomes very thick, add 100 ml of water.
- Toss the pasta in the eggplant sauce and sprinkle with fresh mint and pine nuts.
- Let everyone grate their own cheese on top.
Equipment and tools
To prepare this recipe you will need the following equipment and tools:
- frying pan
- Big pot
- wooden spoon
This recipe contains the following allergens:
- Nuts (pine nuts)
- Dairy products (aged ricotta or vegetarian parmesan cheese)
Storage and leftovers
This dish can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Add a splash of water when warming up to prevent drying out.
The health benefits of Sicilian eggplant, pine nut and raisin fusilli
Sicilian eggplant, pine nut and raisin fusilli are not only a delicious and aromatic pasta dish, but also full of health benefits. Made with fresh and nutritious ingredients, this dish is a great addition to any balanced diet. Let’s explore the health benefits of each ingredient:
Eggplants, also called eggplants, are low in calories but high in fiber, making them a good choice for weight management. They are also rich in antioxidants, which help protect against cell damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Additionally, eggplants contain nasunin, a compound that may help improve brain function and prevent age-related mental decline.
Pine nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats, especially monounsaturated fats, which are known to support heart health. These nuts are also rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, magnesium and zinc. Eating pine nuts can help reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, and support healthy skin.
Raisins are dried grapes that have many of the same health benefits as fresh grapes. They are a good source of fiber, potassium and several antioxidants, including resveratrol. Resveratrol has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, as well as potential benefits for heart health and blood sugar control.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers. They are also rich in vitamin C, potassium and other nutrients that support overall health. In addition, tomatoes are an excellent source of moisture as they are about 95% water.
Red onion and garlic
Both red onions and garlic belong to the Allium family of vegetables, which are known for their powerful health effects. They contain organosulfur compounds that may have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-cancer properties. Both ingredients are also rich in antioxidants and can help improve cardiovascular health.
Capers are rich in vitamins A, K and C as well as minerals such as iron, calcium and copper. They are also a good source of plant compounds, including quercetin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming capers can support digestive health and strengthen the immune system.
In addition to the specific health benefits of each ingredient, the Sicilian fusilli dish with eggplant, pine nuts and raisins is cooked with olive oil, which is rich in monounsaturated fats, which are known to support heart health and reduce inflammation. This dish also contains herbs such as oregano or marjoram and mint, which not only add flavor but also contain various health-promoting ingredients.
Overall, Sicilian fusilli with eggplant, pine nuts and raisins is a nutritious and tasty dish that combines the benefits of fresh vegetables, nuts and herbs. Incorporating this dish into your diet can provide it with a range of essential nutrients and support overall health.