I love aubergines, they are one of my favourite veggies, quite versatile too. I use them in pastas like here, but also in curries, middle eastern cooking, as katsu, layered in Greek dishes, you name it.
This is a pretty basic pasta recipe but one for your repertoire for sure. It’s a go to, mostly store cupboard stuff, kind of recipe but tastes delicious.
Feel free to use any shape of pasta you like, I mostly use penne but I generally use up all the bits of pasta of different shapes hanging around when I make this.
3 aubergine diced into 1 inch chunks
1 large onion diced
7 fat garlic cloves
3 tbs light olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tsp. chilli flakes
2 tins chopped tomatoes
½ cup pitted black olives
2 tbs rinsed and drained capers
1 tbs tomato ketchup or sugar
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
350-400g dried pasta of choice
Pre heat the oven to 200C
Place the diced aubergine on a lined baking tray and season with salt and pepper, drizzle with 2 tbs light oil and give 4 of garlic cloves a bash and add to tray, sprinkle with the chilli and roughly mix to combine. Place in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the aubergine id soft and charred a little in places.
While the aubergine is cooking start on your sauce. Add the onion to a large pan along with the remaining tbs of oil, sauté until the onions are soft and translucent and lightly golden, try to not to let them catch and cook on a low to medium heat.
Crush the remaining garlic and add to the onions with the olives and capers, stir and cook for a minute or two before adding the chopped tomatoes. season with 1 tsp of sea salt and good grind of black pepper.
Finally add 1 tbs tomato ketchup or sugar and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes until the sauce has reduced a thickened a little. Check for seasoning.
When the aubergine is ready remove from the oven and squeeze out the garlic from their skins, squish with the back of a fork to form a paste a add this along with the aubergines to the sauce. Stir to combine and keep warm until you are ready to serve.
Cook your pasta as per the packet’s instructions, keeping it al dente. Drain but reserve about ¼ cup of the cooking liquid. Add the sauce to the pasta and stir again to combine.
Serve in bowls topped with fresh basil leaves and toasted pine nuts.
A green salad makes a nice addition.