The English Post

Anellini al forno

Baked oven anellini al forno
Written by Veronica Lavenia

Anellini al forno (Baked oven anellini) is a typical Sicilian dish, usually made with meat sauce. I prepared this luscious meal with a meatless twist. When in season, this dish is perfect with eggplant or zucchini, but during the winter months you can make it with white sauce (a béchamel) and any available vegetables.

Anellini al forno: Ingredients

Serves 4

320 g (11¾ ounces) anellini pasta

900 g (2 Ib) tomato puree

Sea salt, to taste

1 clove garlic

2 eggplants-aubergines (soaked and dried)

3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp light brown sugar

3 basil leaves

100 g (3½ oz) grated ricotta salata cheese (optional)

 

 Anellini al forno: Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350° F/gas 4).
  2. Wash and slice the eggplant and let rest in salted water for 30 minutes. Remove eggplant and let dry on paper towels for approximately two hours.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the eggplant. Remove and place on cheese cloth to drain the oil.
  4. In another pan, heat the oil and brown the garlic for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the garlic, pour in the tomato sauce, season with salt, add  basil leaves and brown sugar to remove the acidity, and simmer until sauce is reduced.
  6. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water till al dente, or firm.)
  7. Arrange the eggplant, covering all sides of the pan.
  8. Once cooked and drained, mix pasta with half of the sauce, then pour a layer of pasta and a layer of tomato sauce over the first layer of eggplant. Continue with a second layer of pasta to almost fill the pan. Cover with eggplant and a layer of tomato sauce.
  9. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle with grated ricotta salata cheese. Serve warm.

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About the author

Veronica Lavenia

Veronica, PhD, is an Italian based food writer. Born and raised in Italy, surrounded by the thriving culture and spirit of Sicily, Veronica was a University academic before becoming a food writer. In the context of academic research, she has published essays on the Spanish-American narrative in national and international Academic Journals. As freelance journalist, she wrote about book reviews and tennis. Food was the subject she thought about most so, inspired by family recipes, and valuable Italian culinary heritage, she moved into writing her experiences and studies on the subject.
Sustainability, seasonality and selection of raw materials (as much as possible local, organic and unrefined) are the basis of Veronica’s natural food philosophy.
Cookery author, "Gluten Free Heaven" magazine contributor, some of her works have appeared in "Vegetarian Living", "Veggie Magazine", "Lifestyle FOOD", "Australian Good Food & Travel Guide" and "Chickpea", among others.