Nigel Slater’s pesto aubergines and pasta recipe

March 19, 2017

A delicious pasta dish with a real depth of flavor. By Nigel Slater

The recipe

Put a large, deep pan of water on to simmer. When it simmers, salt it generously.

Slice a plump, medium-sized aubergine in half lengthways, then cut it into slicings about 1cm thick. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet or big grill pan and brush generously with olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper and then let the slicings cook under an oven grill until “they il be” golden. Turn each one over carefully and cook the other side. Remove from the hot and drain on kitchen paper.

Make a quick herb sauce by putting a 15 g bunch of basil into the bowl of a food processor, followed by 10 g of flat-leaved parsley, 2 peeled garlic cloves, 25 g of pine kernels and 50 g of parmesan. Process to a loose paste, trickling in about 200 ml of olive oil as you go.

In a shallow pan toast 2 handfuls of fresh white breadcrumbs in a little butter or oil, until golden. Set aside.

Cook 100 g of tagliatelle or fettucine in the boil water, then drainage. Toss the aubergine slicings in the basil sauce then toss with the drained pasta and breadcrumbs. Offer a dish of extra grated cheese for those who want it. Serves 2.

The trick

If you prefer, cook the aubergine slicings on a hot griddle, or in a shallow pan with olive oil. If you take the latter alternative, drain them thoroughly afterwards on kitchen newspaper to avoid the dish from becoming too oily.

The twist

You can also use courgettes for this recipe instead of aubergines. Grill them or fry them in olive oil or, if you would rather, steam them, before adding to the basil sauce.

Email Nigel at nigel.slater @observer. or follow him on Twitter @NigelSlater

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