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My First Cookery Video!

It was about time that this happened: my first cookery video.

I love cooking and so it was a natural progression. Beauty addicts do not fear: the cookery is an addition to the beauty vids and not a substitution. Lipsticks will be back on a screen near you very soon! In fact, if you want some beauty p*rn, I can tell you that my face in this video is adorned with Tom Ford’s summer collection as well as the new NARS tinted moisturiser and a Shiseido cream eyeshadow. I don’t cook with any old crap on my face you know!

I do hope that you enjoy this; it took me ages to get around to filming it, but it’s nice not to be stuck in front of that same old wallpaper with the same old camera angle. I’m trying to mix things up a bit!

The aubergine (eggplant to U.S. readers) recipe shown in the video is one of my favourites. It’s a bastardisation of a Sicilian recipe called Caponata. Or something. You can add black olives to it if you want, or change the cheese, or up the chilli content. Play about with it! It makes a wonderful light lunch or supper if you skip the pasta, thus saving yourself about a zillion empty calories. I can’t resist pasta and would rather have a small amount than none at all, so that’s why I cook pasta in the video! I had walked a LOT that day though – I needed my carb fix.

Enjoy. The written version of my recipe (my weird, gradually changed version!) is printed in full below the video pane. If you’d like to see my videos as soon as they publish then you can subscribe to my Youtube Channel. If you want some exclusive recipe action, then make sure you’re signed up to A Model Recommends: Exclusive. The first newsletter will be with you on the 1st June!

Serves 2 (Depending on how hungry you are and what you decide to have with the sauce!)

You will need:

1 tablespoon (or less) rapeseed/cooking oil

1 tablespoon (or less) extra virgin olive oil

Dash of balsamic vinegar

1 aubergine

2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped

1 heaped teaspoon of dried oregano

Dried chilli (to taste. I used two tiny ones. Leave the chilli out if you prefer!)

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon of tomato puree

Fresh basil leaves (optional)

Approx 50g buffalo mozzarella per person

1)    Cut the aubergine into slices 1cm thick (ish!) and then the slices into cubes. Try to get them KIND of the same size so that they cook evenly!

2)    Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a deep frying pan. You can use less oil than this or even no oil if you have a good non-stick pan. The idea is to cook off the aubergine cubes so that they begin to brown slightly on the outsides. You need to keep the cubes moving in the pan so that they don’t burn!

3)    After a few minutes of cooking off the cubes, take the pan from the heat and clear a space off to the side so that you can fry your crushed garlic in a bit of extra virgin olive oil. DON’T ever let the garlic burn, it tastes rank! Add the oregano and the chilli, and mix it all into the cubes.

4)    Return the pan to the heat. You don’t want to burn the garlic so add your dash of balsamic vinegar to the pan and then the tin of tomatoes immediately, and stir in. Fill up the empty tin halfway with water and add to the pan.

5)    Add the tomato puree and stir in.

6)    Simmer your sauce for around ten to fifteen minutes – the aubergine cubes should be cooked through but NOT soggy. When you put the fork in to test them, you want them to be keeping their shape but not at all hard! Basically, if you taste one and it’s nice then it’s done – if it’s too hard you can always keep on cooking!

7)    Add freshly torn basil leaves if you have them – no worries if you don’t, but it does add another dimension and makes the whole thing come alive.

8)    Tear your buffalo mozzarella over the top. I’m adamant about good quality mozzarella – if it isn’t the real deal, don’t bother. Shave some parmesan over the top instead!

9)    You can serve this stirred into penne pasta as I do in the video. I used 45g of dried penne as the sauce is pretty chunky and filling, but increase/decrease as desired! You can also serve with salad, chicken breast, lamb, steak, fish, whatever you fancy!


  1. When I make a elaborate sauce, I usually don’t bother with pasta, I just steam a bit of white cabbage and treat it like spaghetti. The same with lasagna, I replace the pasta sheets with slightly grilled aubergines. I’m not an enemy of carbs, but it tastes better on my taste buds.

  2. ive been wanting to try eggplant (or aubergine as you so delightfully call it) and i might start with this!

  3. Tallulah Barnes

    Late to the party here, but recently discovered your blog and channel and made this recipe for the first time last night. I served it with a rocket salad as suggested and grilled sea bass fillets. So quick, so very easy, and soooo tasty. Thanks for the inspiration and keep the recipes coming!

  4. I just made this for my dinner and it gets a big thumbs up from me! Thankfully I made a double batch so I have plenty of leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch :)

    I had it with quinoa for an extra bit of protein and used some sun-dried tomato paste in with the tomato puree as I had some that needed using up. I’ll absolutely make this again. Thanks for sharing it!

    • @Joy oh NICE! Yes, every now and then, if I have those sunblush tomatoes left over, I throw them in too! xx

  5. Do you keep a food journal?

  6. My dearest Ruth, since you demonstrated this recipe a few years back I have used it every time I make a pasta dish In fact what are aubergines for if not to make this recipe? Your tip which was to cook the chunks of aubergine in as much olive oil as they can absorb in the skillet first, leaves them sooooo sweet! I even do this to my aubergine base curries now but using other oil of course! Thankyou daughter, we have this recipe once a week and I buy the basic bags of aubergines and use them ALL up in the one dish!xxxxxx

  7. Thank you! You helped me make my dinner today :) I really liked it, have to make it again for my friends :)

  8. I hate cooking. I am lazy and when I’m hungry I just want to shove food into myself without having to work for it.. and each time I tried cooking for my boyfriend, we both had to gag and order a pizza BUT I just tried your bastard caponata and we both actually liked it! you make it look so easy and fun, and it WAS!! hurray! please make more of those videos, I’m turning 30 this year and I think it’s time to be a little more adult (at least with the food part…..) good job!

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