When I was younger, I was never really a fan of aubergines. In my student days, I started to experiment with them, and while I was always aware that aubergines mop up oil like a sponge, I still always ended up with something greasy and, well, just not that appealing. I probably made the novice error of adding more and more oil as the aubergine was cooking. Yes, this meant that I endured many, many meals involving badly-cooked aubergine with too much oil served pasta, with salt, pepper and spices seeking to mask the horror that I had cooked up.
These days, however, me and the aubergine have made up and get along just fine. I love them smoked and made into salads or baked and turned into baba ganoush (even if they’ve been known to explode all over the inside of my oven), but most recently I’ve been making lots and lots of this simple aubergine and tomato sauce. Very easy, very delicious and fantastic with pasta.
This recipe really is sheer simplicity. Just chop the aubergine into small cubes, then put into a pan with some olive oil and salt. At first, all the oil is soaked up, and you think that nothing will happen when you cook it. But be patient, and the aubergine transforms into something browned, soft and delicious. The flavour is rounded out with some tomatoes and herbs, and that’s about it. This is great on pasta, cannelloni, polenta, gnocchi…with chillier days, that’s the sort of stuff we like!
To make aubergine sauce (enough to serve 4):
• 2 medium aubergines
• 50ml olive oil
• salt, to taste
• 4 tablespoons tomato paste
• 2 tins chopped tomatoes
• sugar, to taste
• pinch of chili powder
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1. Cut the aubergines into 1 cm (1/2 inch) chunks. Put into a large saucepan with the olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Cook on a medium heat until the aubergine is soft and it is starting to brown, around 15 minutes (At first, the aubergine will soak up all the oil, but keep heating it and it will release the oil and cook down).
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir well and adjust the seasoning if needed. Leave to simmer on a low heat until the sauce has reduced down. Just before serving, adjust with a little water and/or olive oil if needed (this sauce can be made ahead and reheated at the last minute).
Worth making? I reckon so – I’ve probably made this four times in the last three weeks!
15 responses to “Aubergine Pasta”
ooo love this! i’m quite a fan of aubergine but haven’t really cooked with them much – but this looks so simple and delicious i’m definitely going to give it a go! 🙂
I was like you, and still am…I just don’t like aubergines, unless they’re pickled! If they’re pickled, I cannot stop eating them. One of my favourite things to have for lunch is a pickled aubergine sandwich in two slices of fresh, homemade crusty bread! If you’ve never tried them, you really should (the recipe is on my blog). 🙂
Back to your recipe, it does look delicious and my aunt AND my mother both told me to try aubergines again in the last week, so this must be a sign! Sigh. 😉
Definitely looks like one to add to the “what’s for dinner?” repertoire.
Mmmm…. I have an aubergine languishing in the fridge, this might be just the thing! To avoid the oil problem, normally I just prick it with a fork and bake whole until soft, then scrape out / chop up the flesh. Bon appetit!
Ah yes, I do that sometimes too. Char it quickly on the hob, then bake in a hot oven, tasted great…except the one time I didn’t char the skin and I didn’t pierce it either…the thing blew up in the oven and there were aubergine “tentacles” all over the grill…very very messy!!!
Ahahaha! Kitchen nightmare!
Love this sauce – I LOVE aubergine! Strangely though I’m not sure I’ve ever had it on pasta! Must try this 🙂 Pinned!
If you’re not had aubergine on pasta, give it a try! I’m going to try an aubergine-filled canelloni at some point too.
Made this for our dinner this evening, absolutely delish! Added a splash of red wine to the sauce just for an extra bit of oomph. Will definitely be repeating this another time!
Wow, love it when people make things from my recipes. Love the idea of the red wine, I’m going to steal that and give it a go soon.
Haha… I recently wrote a post on my childhood hatred of aubergines also. I love them now… it’s funny how tastes change. This sauce looks absolutely beautiful. Love your photographs. This is my first visit to London Eats (strangely, I thought that this blog might be run by someone named ‘London’, as my niece goes by that name, but a quick read of your ‘About’ section has corrected the error!) and I’m loving your humour, photography skills and diverse recipes. Following you!
Hi Laura – gosh, I never thought the name would be seen like that…it’s a bit of a play on the term “London eats” referring to places to go for food. Glad you like the blog – I like to use it as a means of trying new things and doing seasonal recipes, so nice to hear that you like what’s on hear, and that the humour is both coming out on the page and makes some sort of sense!
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I love aubergine that is all browned up and caramelized. I think this is a brilliant idea!
Glad you like it!