I’ll be honest with you, I’m not on the Veganuary bandwagon, but I have been inspired by lots of people around me giving it a go – so in honour of you lot, here’s one of my favourite meat and dairy free recipes.
I always enjoy the challenge of creating a delicious recipe without certain ingredients, and I reckon this cheeky little pasta dish is scrummy enough that you won’t miss the meat or the dairy. Juicy, smoky little pieces of aubergine take the place of bacon in a rich tomato and oregano sauce, whilst sprinkled on top is the ultimate secret weapon for anyone who loves pasta but doesn’t eat cheese: pangrattato. If you haven’t tried this yet, you must do so immediately: it’s a mix of crispy, herby breadcrumbs with crunchy sea salt, and it makes the perfect partner for pasta dishes.
Smoky Aubergine Pasta with Herby PangrattatoPrint Recipe
- 1 small aubergine
- Olive oil
- 1 fat garlic clove
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp sugar
- Dried oregano
- Spaghetti, to serve
- To make the pangrattato:
- 1 slice of white bread
- A few fresh basil leaves
- Sea salt
- Olive oil
1. Start by finely dicing the aubergine (the pieces should be no more than 1cm square), and then fry very gently in a generous splash of olive oil until nice and soft. Remove the aubergine to a plate.
2. Finely chop or crush the garlic and fry in the same pan as before (adding a little more oil if necessary) until it starts to smell really good, then return the aubergine to the pan and mix well. Add the tomato puree and a generous splash of water to loosen it up.
3. Season the sauce with sugar, salt and dried oregano, then put a lid on and leave it to simmer gently while you cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.
4. Finally, while the pasta is cooking, make the pangrattato. I find the easiest way to do it is to toast the bread, then chop it as finely as you can, before crisping it up again in a frying pan with a little splash of oil. Keep a close eye on it and once the breadcrumbs are really golden and toasty, remove from the heat and mix in a generous pinch of coarse sea salt and chopped fresh basil.
5. To serve, simply stir the cooked pasta through the sauce, then divide between two plates and top with fresh basil and your herby pangrattato.
|These little herby breadcrumbs will blow your mind – promise|