Smokey Charred Eggplant Spaghetti with Burrata, Lemon and Micro Basil
Tuesday, May 24, 2016It's been a little while since I shared a pasta post and the reason for that is simple. I only really eat one kind. If you know me at all, you know I live for tomato sauce and any time I'm spending my carb allowance, I know what I'm going to be topping them with. However, the most special time of year, Tomato Season, is upon us and I want to create a little bit of build up. All year round, I make do with mediocre or canned (years ago) tomatoes, but to give Tomato Season the respect it deserves, I figured I should take a little break and embrace all the other amazing things that I can put on/in spaghetti.
So, in the excitement of tomato season, I'm patiently awaiting my most perfect pasta sauce, and getting a little experimental while doing so. I usually can't resist throwing a can of plum tomatoes in a pan with some sautéed garlic and olive oil and then adding the eggplant, but today I embraced the power of the lone eggplant and I'm pleased to say I absolutely do not regret it.
It was crazy easy, reasonably quick and super delicious. Three very solid traits in a dish.
So, I urge you to conserve your tomatoes, not that their going extinct or anything (GOD FORBID) but do it so that when that perfect tomato does sprout and arrive in your shopping basket and onto your chopping board, it's even more delicious. On another note, I also urge you to try this, whether you're rationing your out of season tomatoes or not, because it's pretty damn good, if I say so myself. It might even tie in as a joint favourite, and that's a pretty bold statement!
PS. A note on micro basil; I just find that the tiny little pops of fresh and wilted basil through out the dish make it extra flavourful and delicious. I usually buy micro green plants because they're so pretty and make such great garnishes. With this one, I can constantly smell basil when I walk into my kitchen so I took the hint and made it one of the stars of my meal. It makes all the difference but if you can't find micro basil, regular basil leaves will work well too!
Smokey Charred Eggplant Spaghetti
with Burrata, Lemon and Micro Basil
YOU WILL NEED:
2 LARGE EGGPLANTS/AUBERGINE
3 CLOVES GARLIC
2 TBSP BUTTER
1/2 TSP CHILI FLAKES
JUICE OF 1 LEMON
ZEST OF 1 LEMON
A BIG HANDFUL OF MICRO BASIL
1 BALL OF BURRATA
SPAGHETTI OR PASTA FOR 4
SEA SALT AND PEPPER
Turn the oven on the broiler or grill setting.
Cut the eggplants in half length ways and score them diagonally with a knife. Rub each half with olive oil.
Place them skin side up and grill for 5 minutes and then turn them over and grill for another 10 minutes, until golden and cooked through. (Soft when you poke with a fork).
Meanwhile, finely chop the garlic. Place a frying pan on low-mediumheat and sauté the garlic with a tablespoon of olive oil and the butter. Add the chili flakes and let sit on low heat until the eggplants are cooked. Do not let the garlic simmer, it should be on a low enough heat that it softens but does not brown.
When the eggplant is cooked, scoop the flesh out of the skins with a spoon and add to the garlic pan.
Add the lemon juice, half of the micro basil and a pinch of salt and pepper and mix all together. Let cook for 5 minutes.
Cook your pasta as instructed on the packet.
When cooked, toss through the eggplant mixture.
To serve, top the pasta and eggplant with a drizzle of olive oil, the lemon zest, the remaining micro basil and a pinch of sea salt, pepper and chilli flakes.