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Ajvar orecchiette with ricotta and dill

An impressive pasta dish that's perfect for any day of the week.

By Jessica Brook
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 25 mins cooking (plus cooling)
  • Serves 2
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Ajvar orecchiette with ricotta and dill
In this recipe, we use red capsicum, eggplant and red wine vinegar to create a rich ajvar sauce that pairs perfectly with ricotta and dill. Serve with a slice of crusty slice of buttered bread.


  • 200 gm orecchiette
  • 150 gm ricotta, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped dill
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 400 gm eggplant, halved lengthways
  • 1 large red capsicum, seeds removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil


  • 1
    For ajvar, preheat oven grill to high. Place eggplant and capsicum, cut-side down, on an oven tray lined with foil. Grill until skin starts to blister (6-8 minutes). Turn and cook until tender (4 minutes). Cool for 5 minutes.
  • 2
    Scoop flesh from eggplant and place in a small food processor. Remove skin from capsicum; add capsicum to eggplant with garlic, vinegar and 2 tbsp oil; blend until smooth; season to taste.
  • 3
    Place ajvar in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through (5 minutes).
  • 4
    Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente (6-8 minutes). Drain, reserving 125ml (½ cup) cooking water. Add pasta and reserved cooking water to sauce, tossing to coat.
  • 5
    Combine remaining oil and dill. Divide pasta between bowls and serve topped with ricotta, dill oil and chilli.


Ajvar is a sweet Serbian red pepper and eggplant condiment. It is also delicious with grilled meats or served as a dip. Simply double the recipe and keep refrigerated.