Simple, flavoursome and great for batch cooking - the flavours and textures within this recipe create one of the best pasta dishes you’ll ever try. Aubergines are roasted to perfection before being pulled and mixed through a rich tomato sauce made from onion, garlic, harissa and thick balsamic vinegar. This is the perfect recipe to make on a cold evening at home as it's packed full of hearty, wholesome ingredients, with the spice from the harissa in there to warm you through.
Make extra of the ragu or if cooking for yourself save the rest and serve on top of hot jacket potatoes, freeze and use for your next lasagne or serve with a side of brown rice.
Serves 4-6 & takes 45 minutes to cook
4 large aubergines
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 heaped tablespoons of harissa paste
1x 400g can of tinned tomatoes
2 tablespoons of thick balsamic vinegar
1 vegetable stock cube, mixed with 400ml boiling water
1x 400g can of green lentils, drained
Salt and pepper
4-6 portions of pasta (we use tagliatelle)
1. Preheat the oven to 200C, fan setting.
2. Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and place onto a large baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and a large pinch of salt and cook for 35-40 minutes until soft. Once soft, remove from the oven and leave to one side.
3. While the aubergines cook, place a large pan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Once warm, add the diced onions, garlic and carrots and cook for 10-15 minutes until the carrots turn soft.
4. At this point, mix through the harissa paste, tinned tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, vegetable stock and drained lentils.
5. Mix well and bring to the boil, before reducing the temperature and simmering for 15-20 minutes - the sauce should reduce and become thick during this time, if it doesn't reduce enough you may have to turn the heat up a little.
6. While the tomato sauce simmers, pull the aubergines using a fork. You want to pull all of the flesh from the skins to create a stringy texture.
7. Once ready to serve, stir the pulled aubergine through the sauce and cook for a few more minutes until everything is piping hot.
8. While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta according to instructions on the pack, cooking for 1 minute less than stated.
9. Drain the pasta (saving a little of the pasta water) and stir through the sauce. Cook for a minute or so, mixing through a dash of pasta water to bring everything together.
10. Serve piping hot with a crack of pepper on top.