This recipe is typical to Puglia, a region in the heel of Italy which I visited in October 2013. You can read about my Puglian adventures here.
I was shown this recipe by a lovely lady called Francesca in Puglia. Francesca used to be an English teacher, she’s now retired and is opening her home to teach people how to cook regional food. Francesca grows her own vegetables, makes her own olive oil and even produces her own wine (which we drank that night). It’s a great example of how rural tourism can give you a real insight into the day-to-day lives here – how it must have been for hundreds of years.
Francesca taught us how to make pasta, which she served in a lovely ragu sauce later. She also served us a really humble starter of fried aubergines with garlic and mint. A real stunner. So much that, while everyone enjoyed their pasta main course, I sneaked into Francesca’s kitchen and had her show me how to make her lovely aubergines. I added a bit of feta in the end to add some saltiness. I hope Francesca would agree…