Pasta

Sometimes you just need to sit down with a bowl of pasta to feel better. Put a large, deep pan of water on to boil. When it boils, salt it generously.

Slice a medium-sized aubergine in half lengthways, then cut it into slices about 1cm thick. Place in a single layer on a griddle brushed with oil if you’re feeling nervous. Season with salt and black pepper and then let the slices cook until they are soft and near-charred. Turn each one over carefully and cook the other side. Remove from the heat and drain on kitchen paper.

Make a quick herb sauce/pesto by putting a 15g bunch of basil into the bowl of a food processor, followed by 10g of flat-leaved parsley, 2 peeled garlic cloves, 25g of pine kernels and 50g of parmesan. Process to a loose paste, trickling in about 200ml of olive oil as you go.

Going for gold: pesto aubergines and pasta.

In a shallow pan toast 2 handfuls of fresh white breadcrumbs in a little butter or oil, until golden. Set aside.

Cook 100g of tagliatelle or fettucine in the boiling water, then drain. Toss the aubergine slices in the basil sauce then toss with the drained pasta and breadcrumbs. Offer a dish of extra grated cheese for those who want it. Serves 2.

You can also use courgettes for this recipe instead of aubergines. Grill them or fry them in olive oil or, if you would rather, steam them, before adding to the basil sauce.

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