Burnt Aubergine Rigatoni
This smoky, cheesy pasta number makes for a very delicious meat-free dinner. Charring aubergines like this not only cooks them incredibly quickly, it also gives them a wonderful smokiness that adds huge depth of flavour to the finished dish. If you don’t have a gas burner, don’t worry. You can pop the aubergines under a very hot grill in the oven. As long as they’re blackened on the outside and collapsing in the middle, you’re golden.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- 4 large aubergines
- 400g dried rigatoni (or pasta of choice)
- 50g salted butter
- 2 large garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, zest only
- 100g parmigiano reggiano or grana padano
- Handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Place the aubergines directly over a gas burner set to high or under a hot oven grill. Cook, turning frequently, until completely blackened and collapsing, around 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to steam for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the burnt skins. Pull the aubergine flesh with two forks and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to the boil. Cook your pasta according to the package instructions.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant, then stir in the pulled aubergine flesh. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes.
- Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce, along with the parmigiano reggiano, flat-leaf parsley and 2 or 3 ladlefuls of the pasta cooking water.
- Toss until a sauce forms that nicely coats the pasta then plate up and enjoy!