Spaghetti alla Siciliana …… O Koek! it’s Pasta!
June 6, 2011 in Uncategorized
My legs and heart turn to jelly when I hear about the birth of a baby; it’s a combination of sheer terror and absolute adoration of little new-born babies. Our little Jessica – baby girl of fellow blogger Shaz has finally arrived. She was born by Caesarean section on 17 May, weighed in at 3,3kgs, is 51cm tall and is a real cutie pie with her shock of angelic blonde hair. The day of Jessica’s arrival we (bloggers) all communicated via Facebook …. There is nothing more exciting for a group of women that are NOT actually HAVING a baby themselves, than the birth of someone else’s little bundle of puking, eating, sh*tting, shouting joy! Plus – it’s a completely legit reason to open a bottle of merlot and celebrate!
Max, my son was born in the 9th April – and it’s not funny getting up at 2am to feed in winter. I felt as if I was the only person in the whole world – awake, freezing and exhausted. I felt like an old cow waddling around with my boobs the size of rugby balls – dangling on the floor. Oh – I must have looked a right sight!! Having a baby is a huge shock – wonderful and rewarding Yes – but it’s also pretty scary and daunting. We all survive – well most of us do – and our children eventually stop throwing up and we sigh deep long exhausted sighs of relief when they sleep through the night …. There is NOTHING more beautiful and satisfying than the sight of your own baby sleeping ….. Finally!
Anyway – as luck would have it, I had prepared a ‘special’ pasta dish for Trickyricky on the day that little Jessica made her earthly debut. Spaghetti al la Siciliana is baked in a cake tin – and produces a ‘pasta cake’ which just happened to be ‘perfetto’ to welcome little Jessica Italian Style ……. This Sicilian Pasta dish has been renamed by my boys and is now known as:
– Mafioso Don Tripepi-Corleone’s Birthday Cake! –
Jessica angel you are now officially part of ‘LA FAMIGLIA TRIPEPI’ … ben venuto carissima xoxoxo
Mafioso Don Tripepi-Corleone’s Birthday Cake
Spaghetti alla Siciliana
3 – 4 large brinjals
2 onions finely chopped
1 chilli for a tiny bit of bite
Garlic – finely chopped – about 2 – 3 cloves
1 small tin of tomato paste or a squeeze about 2Tbs from a tube of paste
1 can of tomatoes – the small can is fine as this is a thick sauce. Squash the tomatoes with your hands
to release all of the juices.
1 Chicken stock cube
Black pepper to taste
1 cup of frozen peas
100g strong cheddar cheese
100g grated parmesan cheese
Some soft butter – enough to butter the inside of a spring form 23cm cake tin
3Tbs of bread crumbs.
Half a packet of Spaghetti - so that’s about 250g – you must use long pasta for this dish –
If you try and make it with short pasta the cake will not hold and fall apart!!
Cut the ends off the brinjals and cut each brinjal into thin slices – around 3 or 4mm.
Heat a griddle pan and brush with some olive oil or spray and cook and on a medium heat gently cook the brinjals
– when they are browned set them aside on some kitchen paper to suck out any excess oil. You will probably have to do this 3 times – to cook all of the brinjals.
In a heavy bottomed pot – brown your onion, chilli and garlic.
Add in your rosemary and thyme and chicken stock cube.
Add the minced meat and brown with the onion.
Add a cup of dry white wine and cook out all of the alcohol -
Add the tinned tomatoes and tomato paste.
Season well with pepper and bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and cook your spaghetti.
I am a firm fan of Divella pasta – it cooks perfectly.
While your pasta is cooking – butter the inside of your cake tin and coat with the bread crumbs.
Line the tin sides with the slices of grilled brinjals.
Add the two cheeses to your thick pasta sauce.
By the time that you have finished lining the baking tin your pasta will be cooked.
Combine the cooked pasta with your Mince sauce and pour it into the brinjal lined cake tin.
Using your hands pat the mixture down well to compress it into a cake – you could also do this with the back of a spoon or a side plate.
Pat it down firmly and top with the left over slices of brinjal.
Bake in a moderate oven – 180d for 25 to 30minutes until it’s nicely browned.
When you take it out of the oven – let it rest for about 5 minutes and then put a large dinner plate on the top – and carefully flip it over to unmould it. As I use a spring form cake tin – I gently unclip the side and out pops a Pasta Cake!!!
Sprinkle – or as I did for our brand spanking new little blog baby girl Jessica- decorate with parsley and if it’s a birthday you need candles or sparklers otherwise a nice sprinkling of finely chopped fresh parsley over the top before serving will do fine.
This Spaghetti cake is ideal to serve at a luncheon or dinner party as it can be made in advance.
It’s got great on-table appeal as it can be served on a cake platter with great effect. As long as you use long pasta
you will be fine, but you could vary the dish at will.
Try lining the tin with nice large slices of grilled zucchini – instead of the mince meat and pea sauce -
how about trying this with a mushroom and baby marrow sauce etc.
Gorgonzola with walnuts and a rocket pesto
Tomato Chili and Tuna sauce
You could leave the meat out completely.
The combinations are endless.
Serve with some crusty bread like focaccia or with some salad if you are on diet like me!!!
Click on this picture to be taken to my focaccia recipe.
If you are doing Weight Watchers I can tell you that if you cut this cake into 8 pieces –
each piece is 8 points.
So you CAN fit this into your day –
I used spray and cook instead of butter to line the tin and I used a tiny drop of olive oil
with some spray and cook to brown the onion and garlic. I also left out the white wine …..
And easy peasy I could eat this delish dish on my diet.
“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti!”