Recipe: Eggplant and pistachio pasta

An absolutely delightful recipe, this meal is simple to make. It is  vegan,  it is quick, and it tastes like something right out of Sicily. There are minimal ingredients and in summertime hopefully eggplants and tomatoes are in abundance wherever you are. It can be served as a hearty main dish, or alternatively served as a pasta salad. I absolutely adore the addition of the pistachios; that salty crunch just makes for the perfect texture. I have left cheese out of this recipe to keep it vegan, but I am sure some crumbled feta or ricotta would go down an absolute treat.

Collect

  • 2 eggplants (medium sized)
  • olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 500 g cherry tomatoes (or small tomatoes)
  • a few fresh sprigs of marjoram or oregano (or substitute for 2 T of dried herbs)
  • a pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 400 g pasta (I like to use penne, but most work well)
  • 50 g chopped pistachios
  • optional: crumbled feta

Create

  1. Slice the eggplant into 1 cm rounds. If the eggplants are big, you might want to salt them first (in which case, just sprinkle the slices with salt and leave for about half an hour, dabbing them with a paper towel before cooking to remove moisture) but otherwise you are good to go.
  2. Heat a frying pan with olive oil and add the garlic. Once the garlic is cooked, remove from the pan and fry the eggplant in batches until brown. Add the garlic and eggplant back into the pan.
  3. Add to the pan the tomatoes, oregano, chilli and a solid dose of salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes, making sure that nothing sticks to the bottom and accidentally burns. The veges will start to ooze their juices, forming a delicious sauce.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a separate pot. Take a cup of the pasta water and add it to the eggplant sauce before you drain it.
  5. Once drained, add the pasta to the eggplants and tomatoes. Stir everything together and add a little more water to loosen the sauce. Add salt, pepper and chili and garnish with pistachios and cheese if you want.

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