3 medium-sized aubergines
30g of tomato paste
1 large clove of garlic (sliced)
1 shallot (chopped)
800g of dry linguine pasta
300g of parmesan cheese
20ml extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs of thyme
Salt and pepper to season
1. Slice each aubergine vertically in two and score with a knife. Add a dash of salt, pepper and thyme to each half with a slice or two of garlic and tightly roll each half individually in aluminium foil. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes at 180 degrees — if they are still hard in the middle give them 5 more minutes — and then leave to cool.
2. Remove the flesh from the aubergines and set aside — take care not to scrape the skin as it will taste bitter.
3. Heat 10ml of the olive oil in a pan, add chopped shallot and cook at a low temperature until soft.
4. Add the aubergine flesh and tomato paste to shallots and cook for a further 5 minutes.
5. Place the aubergine mixture in a food processor, season well and blend to a purée.
6. Fill a large pan with boiling water, add pinch of salt and cook pasta for 8 or 9 minutes (or until al dente) and drain, but set aside a ladle of the cooking water.
7. Mix the pasta, cooking water, aubergine purée, remaining olive oil and parmesan together and season to taste before serving.
Recipes from head chef Carlo Scotto at Babbo Restaurant, 39 Albemarle St, Westminster, London W1S 4JQ,babborestaurant.co.uk