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!

© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.



  1. May 2, 2012 / 7:17 am

    Ruth, I really enjoyed your 1st cooking video and the recipe looks lovely & I think I will give it a try (minus the cheese as I’m allergic to dairy). What you put into your body is just as important as your skincare, so I would happily watch more of these cooking videos :)

    • Ruth
      May 2, 2012 / 7:33 pm

      That’s good to know, thanks – more on their way! x

      • May 2, 2012 / 8:49 pm

        Good, good, good! Loved this and am ver much looking forward to it!

  2. Ulrike
    May 2, 2012 / 7:25 am

    “It’s a bastardisation of a Sicilian recipe called Caponata. Or something.” In my book, whatever you do on the blogging/vlogging/videoing/whatever front, you can do no wrong, but this little beauty is something extra special. Love love loved it.
    Still amazed by the crazyness on Facebook last night, but I just felt I had to get up on my little soapbox and (try to) teach that little so and so some net etiquette (netiquette?). Probably failed but hey…I got you back girlfriend (even writing this last part of the sentence, let alone hearing it in my head, I cringe heavily). All I’m trying to say is that I love your work, keep doing what you’re doing.

    • Ruth
      May 2, 2012 / 7:32 pm

      Haha! Thanks Ulrike – I missed it all, but I’m kind of glad! xxx

  3. Marion
    May 2, 2012 / 8:42 am

    Absolutely LOVE it! Thanks Ruth, will try it tonight x

  4. sophia
    May 2, 2012 / 8:55 am

    Ruth you are a great cook! I love your pink knife.

    • Ruth
      May 2, 2012 / 9:36 pm

      Ha! Everyone loves the pink knife! It’s by Komachi Pure xx

  5. May 2, 2012 / 9:05 am

    Congrats, Ruth! Job well done on your first cookery video. “Mr. Upa” and I are huge fans of this recipe, though our interpretation may well be a bit different since we only had a few words to go by – way back when!!!, when you first mentioned it. (Creative punctuation, no???) It’s now a staple in our house, known as “the model’s stew”! I’m so glad to have the genuine recipe now, however!

    Agreed that real mozzarella is the only way to go…being married to an Italian-American for 37 years has taught me that well!

    • Ruth
      May 2, 2012 / 9:39 pm

      @Upa yes, I absolutely thought of you when I was deciding what to do first! I remembered that you mentioned it! x

      • May 2, 2012 / 9:44 pm

        Awwwe…how sweet. And I’ll let “Mr. Upa” know too! Xxx

  6. sophia
    May 2, 2012 / 9:10 am

    Ruth you are a great cook! I love your pink knife

  7. May 2, 2012 / 9:11 am

    Having some VERY senior moments tonight, I’m afraid. In forwarding your cookery post tonight to a friend, I hit “reply” instead of “forward,” so you got a weird empty email from me (sorry!) and then I typed in my wrong blog address (non-existent address, I’m sure) in my comments (double sorry)…long day??? Ugh! Head to go under the blanket from the shame!

    • Ruth
      May 2, 2012 / 9:36 pm

      @Upa hahaha!!! You will love the post coming up later this week – you can add some senior moments to my list! xx

  8. Johanna
    May 2, 2012 / 9:35 am

    hahha Ruth! you should have eaten it seductively with a fork. i love you much!!! love the leopard bow, love the cat, love the food. and you have this dry english sense of humor that i find so funny. ill try this dish once im off atkins. but the cat was the highlight for me. i love cats <3


    • Ruth
      May 2, 2012 / 9:40 pm

      @JOhanna I’ll try and eat the next recipe seductively! x

  9. rachel
    May 2, 2012 / 10:17 am

    sounds nice, I love pasta dishes.
    I think that it’s good your putting food on your blog because it got alot to with skin. Processed sugers slow the collegen and also make you break out in spots. Plums make your skin glow. A study has showen that if you eat more than your recommend 5 a day of fruit and veg to become more attractive !

    • Ruth
      May 2, 2012 / 7:34 pm

      Indeed, thanks Rachel – more coming! x

  10. Clare
    May 2, 2012 / 12:51 pm

    Looks yum! Completely off topic but just going back to your post on rapeseed oil, just tried substituting it for butter for cake baking and it worked like a dream…i can enjoy it knowing its slightly healthier than before!

    • Ruth
      May 2, 2012 / 7:31 pm

      @Clare ooh, that’s a good idea!! xx

  11. May 2, 2012 / 12:52 pm

    Hey Ruth! What a lovely video! I freaked out the other day when I saw you in an old ad for a beauty magazine from germany!! I almost wanted to rip it out and frame it and then send it to you, but then I realized it was only MY first time seing you in a magazine and you have been in tons of them. I love your videos and watch them religiously! (NOT as creepy as it looks tiped out :D)
    xxx annie

    • Ruth
      May 2, 2012 / 7:31 pm

      @Annie hahaha! That’s very sweet! xx

  12. Love in a mist
    May 2, 2012 / 2:16 pm

    Really enjoyed this video, I’m inspired to try this out, looks lovely, :-) I would love to see more of your recipes as videos.
    I’ve also been buying healthy food magazine for a while now, lots of great recipes and interesting articles in it, it’s only A5 size as well so great to take to work in the old handbag!!
    Re pasta – I’ve got a little tea cup in the kitchen that I use to measure out pasta, it holds 45gs, just easier than fanning around with scales :-) otherwise I agree you end up with a massive pan full enough for 6!!
    And finally mr bear, snuggalicious as always xxxxx

    • Ruth
      May 2, 2012 / 7:26 pm

      @Love oh that’s handy! I love food mags, I could read them all day! x

      • May 2, 2012 / 8:54 pm

        Such a great idea, to weigh the pasta or to have a measurement that you are confident with. Why did I never realize that? Such great ideas on this site…I’m constantly amazed.

  13. Samantha
    May 2, 2012 / 5:03 pm

    Ruth, this is an excellent cooking video! Great job! I was getting so hungry while watching it. You have a beautiful home!!

    • Ruth
      May 2, 2012 / 7:25 pm

      Thanks so much!! xxxx

  14. ZenGarden
    May 2, 2012 / 5:33 pm

    oh lala :) looks tasty Ruth. and I LOVE the finish on your cupboards (and your hairband) bon appetit xx

  15. Sabina
    May 2, 2012 / 8:04 pm

    Dear Ruth, I am definitely going to try this recipe, it looks sooo yummy!. And what a coincidence… I just started attending a cookery school for beginners (nothing too complicated nor glamorous cooks) exactly when you posted about your cookery lesson! Now I am looking forward to more recipes from you – why don’t you dedicate a specific section of your blog to recipes?
    Hugs from Italy xxx

    • Ruth
      May 3, 2012 / 11:39 am

      Thanks Sabina! As soon as there are enough of them, I’ll create a section! xx

  16. Sarah
    May 2, 2012 / 10:21 pm

    I love that you’re doing recipes now! Thanks for posting something with veggies, as a vegetarian I’m always looking for new ideas. One quick question though, how big is the can of tomatoes you use? I the US a can of tomatoes is 14oz, I’m not sure if it’s the same for you in the UK.

    • Ruth
      May 3, 2012 / 11:25 am

      @Sarah yeah, your cans are bigger, so maybe just use half or two thirds? Sometimes I don’t even use a full tin of our size – just depends on your preferred consistency. xx

  17. May 3, 2012 / 10:16 am

    Love this recipe! I do something really similar (and you’re so right – it is filling!) and my boyfriend happily eats it too :)

    Would love more of these recipe type videos! Oooh, can you show us how to cook fish? I remember your cookery school post – the recipe looked amazing! :)

    • Ruth
      May 3, 2012 / 11:22 am

      @Jo yes, I shall probably film the mackerel salad next! x

  18. Allison
    May 4, 2012 / 2:14 pm

    What, no footage of you tasting it orgasmically? No footage of you sneaking down at midnight, cramtming the leftovers between two pieces of bread, smothering it all in mayo and shoving it in your mouth a-la-Nigella? I’m disappointed *giggle* ;-) … but seriously though, this looks yummy. I’m going to make it tonight :)

    • Ruth
      May 4, 2012 / 2:15 pm

      @Allison next time… x

    May 6, 2012 / 1:08 pm

    Hi Ruth
    A great food video from you,looks Delicious, will definitely be getting this recipe of yours
    You have a great kitchen too, very stylish like you
    will watch the other food video hope i do not sound like a obsessed foodie lol

    • Ruth
      May 6, 2012 / 9:29 pm

      Thanks Yasmine! x

  20. Alexa F.
    May 6, 2012 / 2:03 pm

    Dear Ruth,
    I make similar pasta dishes on a regular basis but the side salad with buffalo mozzarella is a great idea, yet so simple! Thanks for the inspiration!
    I tried it last night and loved it. I added a teaspoon of capers to the sauce, which gave it a nice salty taste. And I still have lots left over so tonight’s dinner’s sorted. Hurray!
    Oh and thanks for your daily fix in the morning! It always keeps me entertained on the bus to university.
    Lots of love from Brighton,

    • Ruth
      May 6, 2012 / 9:28 pm

      Oh yes, it’s amazing with capers in! And also black olives. I didn’t have either of those things when I filmed the video! x

  21. julia
    May 7, 2012 / 12:22 am

    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!

    • Ruth
      May 7, 2012 / 7:13 pm

      HAHA!! Thanks Julia! Glad you liked it. “Bastard Caponata” is now its official name, hahahaha!! x

      • julia
        May 7, 2012 / 7:39 pm

        or maybe bastonata. or capostard? I like bastonata better.

  22. Caroline
    May 7, 2012 / 7:08 pm

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

  23. Your Mum
    May 8, 2012 / 12:16 pm

    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

    • Ruth
      May 8, 2012 / 3:59 pm

      @Mum ha! Did you like the video? I forgot to put the capers and the black olives in!!!!!!!!! x

  24. Judi
    May 8, 2012 / 5:53 pm

    Do you keep a food journal?

    • Ruth
      May 8, 2012 / 6:39 pm

      @Judi no… x

  25. May 9, 2012 / 2:34 pm

    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!

    • Ruth
      May 9, 2012 / 8:41 pm

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

  26. Tallulah Barnes
    July 31, 2012 / 1:05 pm

    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!

    • Ruth
      August 1, 2012 / 12:30 pm

      Glad you like it! X

  27. FelCandy
    February 7, 2013 / 11:23 pm

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

  28. Sarah
    September 18, 2013 / 4:49 pm

    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.

  29. Sara
    March 4, 2016 / 8:35 pm

    So I looked at the contents of my fridge that I have to use up tonight before I go on holiday tomorrow, and this post jumped straight into my mind! Aubergine, buffalo mozzarella, courgettes to make courgetti… it was meant to be!

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