• David

Aubergine Pasta

Rating: Easy







This is such an easy and tasty recipe and it doesn't cost the earth to make! It's everything you want from a good family pasta dish. It's a tomato base with the creaminess of aubergine and gorgeous oils that come from the melted cheese and olive oil. If you like your pasta spicy then double up on the chilli or add a teaspoon or two of cayenne pepper.


Aubergine though is the star here, technically a fruit, it is a giant sponge. It wants to be paired with fats and salts, but it can go very wrong! Under cook one and you might as well add a flip flop to your dish it won't take on flavour and it'll be both chewy and crunchy. But roast it first and it sings! Do not add your aubergine to your marinara sauce unless you see it's starting to caramelise or this dish won't work.


A lot of of recipes are built with a good dry store in mind. Why? Because it lasts longer, it's easy to store and saves you money. If you want to see what staples you should always have in, head over to our dry store post.


Let's start with what you need for this one;


  • 2 medium sized Aubergines

  • 1 onion

  • 3 tsp capers

  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes

  • 100g tomato purée

  • 2 tel balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tsp smoked Paprika

  • 1 red chilli

  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 1 tsp rosemary

  • 1 tsp thyme

  • salt & pepper to taste

  • your favourite pasta

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • grated hard cheese of your choice


Stage 1:

Set your oven to 180c. Chop up your aubergine into cubes and place in a roasting tray. Add a very healthy teaspoon of salt, pepper, and rosemary. Then liberally feed it with olive oil. At least 3 tbl. Leave it to roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Take it out and give it a good stir and if it looks dry add a bit more oil and place back in the oven.


Stage 2:

Chop up your onions and add to a frying pan with some olive oil. Brown the onions on medium heat for 5 minutes. Chop up your chilli & garlic and then add to your onions along with paprika, capers. Cook for 3 minutes.


Step 3:

Add your tin of chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, thyme and balsamic vinegar and bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. This will help bring some sweetness out of the sauce.


Step 4:

Check on your Aubergines, are they looking nice and caramelised? They should look brown and the skins wrinkled and the 'meat' starting to collapse. If not keep on roasting and reduce your pan heat down. If they are ready, then add it to the sauce along with any oil and rosemary in the roasting tin. Add 250ml of water and bring the pan up to boiling point. Then reduce to low heat and keep stirring.


Step 5:

Boil your pasta. Follow instruction on portion sizes. To save energy its best to use a kettle to bring your water to boiling temperature then add it to the pan. Salt the water with a tsp of salt and cook pasta to your taste. I think 10 minutes is the magic number for me.


Step 6:

When you are happy with your pasta it's time to drain the water off. Save a cup of the water though this is vital part of a good pasta dish! Your pasta sauce should now be boiling and reduced. Put your drained pasta back into it's pan then add the pasta sauce to it ladle by ladle until you get the right coating to your taste. When you are happy then add olive oil, cheese and at least 4 tbl of pasta water and stir. This will make your pasta lovely and glossy.


Step 7:

Serve up! Add your pasta to a good bowl and then add more olive oil and any spare cheese gratings along with some fresh cracked pepper. Heaven in a bowl!


TOP TIPS;

  • By Adding the pasta sauce ladle by ladle you can keep the rest in a tub and freeze for up to a month or have it for lunch then next day.

  • Pasta water is key to this dish, its' the way the Italians make theirs and it works/ Something about the starch...



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