I’ve never really been a ‘sandwiches for lunch’ kind of person. Sure, sandwiches can be pretty magnificent, but day in day out they lose their appeal quickly. This roasted aubergine pasta recipe is something you can bulk cook, store in the fridge for a few days and enjoy hot or cold. Add this in to your lunch menu to freshen things up and put a smile on your face as you take a break.
I’m starting to learn to sit and eat my lunch with no distractions and actually take some time to myself. Spooning something mindlessly in to my mouth as I fly through emails provides zero satisfaction. Turning ‘work mode’ off for just half an hour really makes you appreciate the food more and you’ll come back with a bit more energy for the afternoon ahead.
Sweet and flavoursome with a tomatoey tang, this roasted aubergine pasta is whipped up in around 20 minutes, with only 5 of those actually hands on.
The basis of this recipe comes from a Nigel Slater supper in The Guardian, a dish my Uncle told me is one of his simplest ‘go to’ meals. As always, I’ve changed the recipe. Firstly, I think the addition of the onion and parmesan is very welcome here and to be honest, what dish isn’t improved by more onions? His recipe calls for eight tablespoons of oil for two servings, I understand this is to compensate for the lack of sauce, but I’ve cut that in half by simply adding more tomatoes. Olive is Nigel Slater’s oil of choice for his recipe but given that the smoke point of your average olive oil is around 190 degrees C and we’re about to cook the aubergine at a temperature higher than that, I prefer to use an oil that I know won’t be releasing volatile compounds. This wikipedia chart is a good reference to help you decide, but I use a good quality rapeseed (canola if you’re American).
- 1 Red onion
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 1 Aubergine
- 140g Pasta
- 300g Cherry tomatoes
- 4 Tbsp Rapeseed oil (or other high smoke point oil)
- Begin by turning the oven on to 200 degrees Celsius. Cut the onion in half then slice in to thin wedges. Lay the onions across the base of roasting tin. Peel the garlic cloves then thinly slice and scatter over the onions.
- Remove the top from the aubergine and slice in to thin rounds. Place the aubergine in a layer over the onions then add the cherry tomatoes on top. Season heavily and drizzle in the oil. Roast for around 20 minutes.
- When the aubergine is half way there, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until al dente. I prefer this dish with spaghetti but feel free to use whatever you have to hand.
- Remove the roasting tray from the oven and give it a good stir through with a fork, then add the drained pasta and stir again to coat each piece.
- Serve with a block of parmesan and some torn basil leaves.