Happy New Year everyone!
This is the best way to eat aubergines I could possibly imagine. I really really love aubergines, I eat them in many many ways and love them always, but this simple sauce cannot be beaten. It is beyond good, it is really heavenly food. Unctuous and creamy, a tiny bit garlicky and with just a note of sharpness due to the dried tomatoes, this will certainly become a favorite way of eating aubergines.
My husband is really not crazy about aubergines, he eats them because I make them so frequently but he’s never overjoyed about it. Still when I make this sauce, he’s really happy and he eats at least two portions plus any leftovers.
My children hate aubergines in any other way but this one. When my son asks what did I cook for lunch and I happen to say spaghetti, the next hopeful question is: ‘With aubergines?’. If I say yes, he’s answer is ‘Yippee!!!!’ I’m telling you, that’s not normal coming out of the mouth of a 6 year old when talking about aubergines. 🙂
I found this recipe on The Wednesday Chef about 2 years ago, it was one of the first blog recipes I’ve ever tried and I’ve cooked this dozens of times since then. I didn’t change much, I just prefer to give the chopped dried tomatoes to the sauce sooner, but otherwise it is quite the same recipe. Once I tried cooking the aubergines with less oil than indicated but that was definitely not a good idea. Aubergines just normally need their oil and I suppose I just have to accept that.
- 450 g/ 16 oz aubergines
- 80 ml/ ca 5-6 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 springs thyme/oregano (a big pinch of dried herbs works as well)
- 230 ml/ 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons dried tomatoes, chopped
- basil leaves
- 500 g/ 17.6 oz spaghetti
- grated Parmesan to serve
- Cut the aubergines into 1 ½ cm/ 0.6 inch slices, sprinkle them with some salt and let them sit for 20 minutes. Dry them off with kitchen paper, pressing lightly and cut them into chunks.
- Peal the garlic cloves, smash them slightly but leave them whole. Heat the olive oil in a wide non-stick pan and add the garlic cloves. Turn the heat to low and fry the garlic, stirring often, until it starts to sizzle and smell. Don't let them burn.
- Add the aubergines, stir to coat them in oil and cook on a medium heat until translucent and soft. Add the chopped tomatoes, the herbs and the chicken stock. Bring everything to a boil, cover the pan leaving a crack open and let cook for about 20 minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the aubergines are very soft. If there is too much liquid left in the pan by the time the aubergines are soft, just take away the lid and let the sauce bubble for a little while longer.
- While the sauce is cooking, start cooking the spaghetti.
- Mash the aubergines with a fork, add the sliced basil leaves, season to taste and mix with the spaghetti. Serve with some grated Parmesan if desired.