Creamy mascarpone, pesto and aubergine bake at Rietfontein Private Nature Reserve… Part 1 of 3

With a “ready to blog file” overflowing I need to jump right into it and preserve these recipes before they get lost…

Rietfontein.. as the directions read… drive down the main road of Matjiesfontein, at the end of the Main Road is a white gate, open, and continue to drive for 7 kilometres… a little piece of paradise in the middle of the Karoo…

Rietfontein Private Nature Reserve main house...

Rietfontein Private Nature Reserve main house…

As you enter the Rietfontein farm yard you realise… this is a one of a kind special place, looked after to the finest detail…

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For a printable PDF recipe card click on this link: 34. Creamy pesto pasta aubergine bake……… RECIPE CARD

Start off by pouring everyone in the kitchen a nice glass of chilled wine..

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For the Creamy Aubergine bake you will need:
1 x packet (500g) spiral or small size pasta7E0A5027
1 x tub (200g) pesto
1 x tub (250g) mascarpone
3 x large grated zucchini
6 x small aubergines
+/- 500g small red tomatoes
grated mozzarella, 3 hands full
finely grated parmesan.. 3 hands full

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We started by frying the sliced aubergine, batch by batch in a little bit of olive oil until browned on both sides.. put aside. Yes we did have a little fire in the kitchen, nothing to worry about.. and nope we did not put it out… we shouted.. where’s the camera??

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After putting out the fire with a littttle splash of wine.. we could continue..

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until just tender, drain and immediately add the tub of mascarpone to the very hot drained pasta, gently stir until the mascarpone is melted without breaking up the pasta spirals.

Add the tub of pesto and coarsely grated zucchini… the zucchini will melt away while baking and form part of the creamy texture of the baked dish.

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Season with salt and black pepper and spoon pasta mixture into an ovenproof dish pretty enough to grace your lunch table.

Scatter with a combination of mozzarella and grated parmesan and top with one layer of fried aubergine in one pretty overlapping layer.

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Top with halved baby tomatoes, cut side up and give it a light dusting of coarse salt and a sprinkle of finely grated parmesan.

Bake for +/- 45 minutes or until the cheese and tomatoes are lightly browned on the edges.

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And the difficult part… is to wait for lunch…

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Lunch is served… at the oval table … with glasses filled with crisp cold wine and the early winter sun baking on our backs…

Life is good at Rietfontein…

And after lunch… maybe a little walk … or … lie down..

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To follow in part 2 of 4 … Easy Chocolate Fudge…

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