I love aubergines (aka eggplants)!  They are one of my favourite vegetables if not my favourite vegetable (although they are technically a fruit, but let’s not quibble over that just now).  I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to them!  They are crazy versatile, as evidenced by the myriad ways to have them, and I don’t think I’ve come across an aubergine dish yet that I didn’t like. My mum is totally to blame for my aubergine fondness, she makes this mean Chinese chilli aubergine that when I was a kid I used to pick at the leftovers, stone cold straight out of the fridge, and then tried (and failed!) to cover up the holes I’d left…

Aubergines are in season still so this is a great recipe for a quick and satisfying Meatless Monday supper, or an any night supper.  The dish is full of that unmistakeable smoky aubergine flavour, perfectly complimented by the spicy tomato sauce.  And cooking the aubergines in the oven avoids all that oil soaking up that they love which, whilst it does make them much tastier, isn’t brilliant for the old waistline.   The fresh basil bridges late Summer and early Autumn, and makes a lovely difference so while you can substitute it for dried basil I would recommend trying not to.  

Spicy Aubergine & Tomato Pasta
Serves 2
Smoky roasted aubergines in a simple spicy tomato sauce over linguine makes for a perfect Meatless Monday, or any day, supper.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Stuff you'll need...
  1. 2 medium aubergines/eggplants
  2. olive oil
  3. 1 medium onion, chopped
  4. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
  6. 1 tbsp fresh oregano, or 1 1/2 tsp dry oregano
  7. 1 tsp crushed chilli flakes, plus extra for finishing
  8. 1/4 cup fresh, chopped basil, plus extra for finishing
  9. 1/2 tsp sugar
  10. Balsamic vinegar
  11. 1/2 packet linguine
  12. Parmesan
  1. Preheat the oven to 220° C/425° F.
  2. Slice the eggplants into 1-inch thick slices, then cut again until you have large cube-ish pieces. Spread out on a baking sheet or roasting tray. Salt well and season with black pepper before drizzling over with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Toss the aubergine cubes until they are well coated .
  3. Pop the aubergine cubes in the oven and roast until they're tender and browning, which should take about 20 minutes.
  4. While the aubergine is roasting, heat 3 tbsp olive oil on low heat in a large saucepan. Add the onions and sautée for 6-8 minutes, until the onions are soft.
  5. While the onions are sautéeing, put a large saucepan of water on to boil for your pasta.
  6. Add the garlic and sautée for another minute before adding the tomatoes, oregano, chilli flakes, sugar and basil. Add a couple of good slugs of balsamic and then turn the heat up until the sauce is simmering.
  7. At this point, give the aubergine a good shake to toss everything around again and then pop back in the oven.
  8. Give the sauce another 10-12 minutes, until it has thickened up.
  9. When the eggplant is ready, remove it from the oven and add it to the sauce. Continue to simmer gently on very low heat.
  10. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt well before popping the linguine in. Cook per the packet instructions, until al dente.
  11. When the pasta is ready, drain and drop into the sauce. Gently fold in the sauce until the pasta is well coated. Dish up and top with chopped basil and chilli flakes to taste. Serve with grated parmesan.
Adapted from Food52
Adapted from Food52
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