I love the rich, slightly smoky flavour and the soft texture of aubergine. Aubergines are so useful in curry dishes, they are fantastic roasted and of course ratatouille is a classic and delicious summer stew.
This is a quick pasta dish that is great in the campervan and might not even take 30 minutes to rustle up. The nuts give it a tasty crunch and the chilli adds a hint of a kick. It feels a bit decadent as pine nuts are not the cheapest of the nuts and seeds and you could substitute cashews or almonds, pumpkin or sunflower seeds or whatever you have in the cupboard really but pine nuts are good.
Ingredients for two people
- One aubergine, stalk removed, sliced and diced
- Glug of olive oil
- 100g nuts or seeds of your choice
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 200g cream / yoghurt / crème fraîche / sour cream – you can use vegan or non-vegan versions
- 1 or 2 fresh chillies de-seeded and finely chopped. The number will depend on your taste and the type. You can also use a sprinkling of chilli flakes
- Fresh parsley chopped [optional]
- Your favourite and usual amount of pasta, I use penne
In a wok or pan heat the olive oil and add the aubergine chunks. They will quickly soak up the oil. [You can sprinkle the aubergine chunks with salt for half an hour, rinse and pat dry before you cook them to reduce the oil they take up but this is a nuisance in the campervan.] Keep the aubergine chunks moving so they don’t stick to the pan and allow them to brown slightly and soften then add the pine nuts or other nuts / seeds you are using and allow these to lightly toast.
If you have another ring it is time to put your favourite pasta into boiling water now.
Add the crushed garlic and chilli to the aubergine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well, frying everything for a minute more.
Add the creamy substance you are using and warm through on a low heat. When the pasta is cooked, drain and stir through the creamy aubergine mixture with the fresh chopped parsley, if you have this. Serve and enjoy, maybe with a good Italian red wine.