This is another dinner that virtually cooks itself. It’s true that the aubergines take a while in the oven, but they can essentially be left to their own devices so this is a good recipe if you’re trying to get things done around the house, in the garden or at the computer. The three aubergines that I used were fairly small so I ended up with some extra pasta (I didn’t want to risk adding too much to the sauce and making it dry). To create a second helping, I just combined the extra pasta with the aubergine skins, some more soya cream and half a veggie stock cube crumbled in. It may seem surprising, but roasted aubergine skins are a really lovely ingredient in their own right and also taste delicious spread with hummus. Before binning them, it’s definitely worth considering their potential! The aubergine cooking method is the same as for aubergine roulade with lemon and tarragon sauce, and it’s roughly based on Ottolenghi’s method but simplified a bit.
Ingredients for aubergine and lemon pasta (serves 3):
- 3 largeish aubergines
- 225 g pasta (I found that wholegrain worked well here)
- Olive oil
- 1-2 small cartons of soya cream
- Zest of 3-4 lemons
- 1 veggie stock cube (I like the Kallo ones)
- (Optional) A good handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to gas 7 (220 C).
- Top and tail the aubergines and place on a baking tray, whole. Roast for about 45 mins-1 hour until the skins are really charred and the aubergines feel soft when a knife is inserted. You can turn them once half way through cooking but this isn’t essential.
- When the aubergines are ready, remove from the oven, cut open lengthways and scoop out the flesh. It may help to steady the aubergine with a fork and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. You may want to cut up some of the larger pieces (kitchen scissors are useful for this).
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the pasta, along with a splash of olive oil. Simmer for about 10 mins or until tender, stirring occasionally. 5. Meanwhile, place the cooked aubergine in a separate pan, along with the soya cream, lemon zest and basil. Crumble the stock cube over the top and stir in (this just helps to make the flavour even better). Simmer very gently until hot through, stirring almost constantly to prevent sticking. 6. When the pasta is ready, drain and stir into the aubergine sauce. Serve in a dish with a lid to help it stay hot for longer.