Ducky cried a lot today. This is rare, and with every “neh!” my shoulders inched closer to my ears. The red cabbage and meat balls I’d planned to make for dinner were too involved to contemplate after a day like this. Instead, I made Claudia Roden’s eggplant with yogurt and pine nuts (stabbing the eggplant to prevent oven explosions felt wonderfully therapeutic), fried some onions and combined both over pasta. Now, I am not saying La Roden is a sorceress, but by the time the plates were empty, Ducky was quiet and my shoulders were back in their normal position.
Pasta with eggplant and yogurt
The eggplant comes courtesy of Claudia Roden’s Arabesque
- 2 eggplants
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 125 gr Greek yogurt
- 50 gr plain, full fat yogurt
- 1 small clove of garlic
- 50 gr pine nuts
- 1 large onion
- Knob of butter
- Enough pasta for two
Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Pierce the eggplants all over to prevent explosions and bake in the hot oven for about 45 min, until soft.
Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet. Mix the two types of yogurt, press the clove of garlic and stir into the yogurt along with a pinch of salt. Leave at room temperature until needed. Slice the onion and fry in the butter until soft and golden. Put on a large pot of water for the pasta and bring to a boil.
When the eggplant is soft, take out of the oven and leave until it is cool enough to handle. Toss the pasta in the boiling water and cook until al dente. When cool enough, split the eggplant lengthwise and scrape the soft flesh from the peel. Discard the peel, chop the flesh and gently squeeze to get rid of excess moisture. Blend in the lemon juice.
Drain the pasta. Stir a tablespoon of hot water into the yogurt to warm it a little. Then assemble by dividing pasta over two plates, followed by eggplant, yogurt, onion and pine nuts.