Preparation & cooking time 1hr 30min
For the strangujet pasta:
300g (10½oz) strong flour
50g (2oz) ‘semola’ fine ground durum wheat flour
150ml (5½fl oz) water
1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch salt
basil leaves to decorate
saucepan of water to cook the pasta
For the sauce
1 large aubergine
1L (2pt) peanut oil (enough to completely cover the aubergine)
1 small white onion, chopped
300g (10½oz) of ‘pelati’ tomatoes (peeled; canned or from a jar is fine)
30g (1oz) extra virgin olive oil
100g (3½oz) baked ricotta
salt & pepper to taste
1 Combine the two flours, then add the water and begin to knead until it becomes smooth and very compact. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
2 Roll out the dough into long sausages about 2cm (1in) diameter. Then cut at 1cm (½in) intervals and press/dimple each cube with your thumb to form a rounded/squashed gnocchi shape.
3 Add the gnocchi to boiling water and cook until they float to the surface.
For the sauce
1 Cut the aubergine into 1½cm (¾in) cubes, salt them and leave to sweat for 20 minutes. Pat dry once they’ve released their ‘bitter water’.
2 Coat the aubergine in peanut oil and fry for 3 minutes.
3 In another pan, fry the finely chopped onion and tomato with the olive oil, a little water, salt and pepper.
4 Remove the oil from the aubergine with paper towel and add it to the tomato to cook for another 3 minutes.
5 When pasta is ready, drain well and add it to the pan to sauté/mix with the sauce for 3 minutes. Dress the dish with the pine nuts and ricotta and serve..