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Hi.

Kate Gibbs is a food and travel writer, author, cook and new mother living in Sydney, Australia. She cooks whole food that makes us healthy and happy, and travels to find the best in style, food and hotels.

creamy eggplant pasta for the world

creamy eggplant pasta for the world

The kind of dinner where you don't feel like you're missing out in some way, either through fault of being lazy, time poor, dieting or some other trap we fall in when the meal is too simple to be spectacular: that's what I'm after. I want a meal that's blissfully heaven and filling and also healthy, that's not salad but that's not a drawn-out extravaganza either. And that's not the usual flummoxed person's go-to dinner; you know, bolognese, fish tacos - dishes so unromantically literal that there's no room for delight at the table. So this: unctuous and silken, creamy but not with-cream, vegetarian but not disappointing. Eggplant pasta, where the eggplant makes a proper, soft, slightly textured but saucy sauce, and the pasta is wholemeal spaghetti.

Eggplant cut into cubes is cooked in a pretty decent amount of extra virgin olive oil - and you need the oil for the unctuous silken thing to happen - then cooked slowly with garlic in chicken stock and married with wholemeal spaghetti, chilli, fetta and basil on the plate. You can omit the fetta but in that case may I suggest a drizzle of reduced, perhaps caramelised balsamic vinegar over the top? You need the salty, pungent kick because it's (I always just want to say "BETTER", but strive for something more poetic) what makes it not something from a jar, it's what makes it miraculous. Kids love this, adults love this, it works for vegetarians and hardcore carnivores who don't know any better. It's the pasta for the world. Here's the recipe for your simple, pleasing, creamy eggplant pasta.

creamy eggplant pasta for the world

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 600g eggplant (about 3 medium), cut into dice
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup (250ml) quality chicken or vegetable stock
  • 400g wholemeal spaghetti (or to feed four)
  • basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
  • 50g Danish fetta, for crumbling
  • 1 bird's eye chilli, thinly sliced acrossways (remove seeds for less heat)
  1. Heat the oil in a wide, heavy-based saucepan. Test oil with one cube of eggplant, it should sizzle a little. When the oil is hot enough, add remaining eggplant and stir to coat in oil. Using a large knife, flatten garlic, remove and discard skin and add flattened cloves to eggplant. Cook8-10 minutes, until eggplant turns slightly golden and garlic softens but doesn't burn.
  2. Add wine and let simmer 2 minutes, then add stock. Stir to combine then cover with lid, leaving a small space for steam to escape. Stir frequently to ensure eggplant is not sticking.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water according to packet instructions, until al dente. Strain the pasta, reserving 1/3 cup liquid. Return pasta to pan with reserved water, add spoonfuls of eggplant sauce, and toss together well. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Let simmer 1 minute, then transfer to bowls. To serve, scatter fetta, basil and chilli over your eggplant pasta.

All photos and recipes by Kate Gibbs.

sunday style: noma and the sea

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