roasted aubergine persian pasta



irstly, CRIME FRAICHE? For heaven’s sake. I apologise profusely. My iPad autocorrecting me into madness again.

I can’t actually remember where I found this recipe, only that it’s been in my notebook for a while to try out. I know it’s a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe and I could find the source if I looked, but I’m a lazy lazy man. This is part of our ongoing mission to not get bogged down in the ‘same old’ recipes – trying something new at least four times a week.

to make roasted aubergine Persian pasta you will need:
spaghetti, three big aubergines, 0% greek yoghurt, weight watchers creme fraiche, lemon juice, dried mint, saffron (optional), garlic, cumin, salt and pepper.

to make roasted aubergine Persian pasta you should:
first the aubergine – prick them all over and pop them into the oven for 1 hour. After this, take them out, leave to cool, scoop out the flesh inside and discard the skin. Pop the flesh into a colander and give it a push around with a spoon just to break it up and drain the liquid. Put to one side and leave to cool.

If you’re using the saffron, pop a couple of strands in a cup with two tablespoons of warm water to infuse.

Next, put your spaghetti on to cook – assuming it’ll take about fifteen minutes – but feel free to stagger these stages if you’re a little wary of doing too many things at once in the kitchen. I know I am. Pop the creme fraiche (I synned 2 syns for 50g) and the parmesan (50g of grated parmasan – again I synned two syns – based on using up my healthy extra on the cheese and then 4 syns for 25g extra, which is being strict) in and whisk on a medium heat until it is smooth. Allow to cool for a moment, and add the yoghurt, and keep on whisking but this time on a low heat – if the mixture is too hot and you’re not whisking, it’ll separate and that’s it, you’ll need to start again. Once smooth, set aside.

Next (or at the same time, if you’re quick at chopping onions like me), dice your onion into tiny pieces, and saute in a pan with the cumin seeds (say a teaspoon) – hot enough to get the oil out of the seeds, mind. Knock the heat down when the onions are golden, add the aubergine flesh, two tablespoons of lemon juice, a bit of garlic, plenty of salt and a few good twists of black pepper. Cook for ten minutes or so.

Once your spaghetti is cooked to your liking (and for gods sake, cook it properly, don’t cook it to death – you should be able to slurp the spaghetti, not sieve it through your teeth), chuck it back in the empty pan, pour some dried mint (or if you’re feeling decadent, a teaspoon of olive oil with dried mint infused in it – 6 syns) through it and plate up. Add the aubergine mixture on top, then the creamy sauce, then some more mint and salt on top. If you’ve made saffron water, put a few drops on the top – it adds a very discreet flavour but it’s worth it.

extra-easy: yup – easily one third of the dish is the roasted aubergine, so worry ye not. Syn free on green too, but not a red recipe. But let’s not overegg the pudding anyway, I’m definitely an extra easy guy.