- 35g sun dried tomatoes
- 3 aubergines
- 500g cherry tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove
- 500g spaghetti
- A large handful of basil, leaves only
- 200g spinach
- 1 lemon
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 l boiling water
- Thinly slice the sun dried tomatoes.
Pop the sun dried tomatoes into a bowl and pour over enough hot water to cover them. Set aside to soak for 5-10 mins.
Trim off the aubergine tops and chop the aubergines into small 1cm cubes. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Peel and finely slice the garlic clove. Zest and juice the lemon. Finely shred the spinach leaves, discarding any tough or dry stems. Drain the sun dried tomatoes and finely slice them.
Place a large, heavy-based frying pan or casserole dish on the heat for a 2 mins to warm up (see our tip below on what to do if you’re using a saucepan). Pour in 1½ tbsp olive oil, then add half the cubed aubergines with a good pinch of salt. Cook on a medium high heat for 6 mins till the aubergines are browned on most sides and slightly softened. Move them around the pan regularly. Scoop them out of the pan into a bowl. Pour in another 1½ tbsp olive oil and repeat with the remaining aubergines. Turn off the heat.
Lay the pasta in the pan and add the cooked aubergines, the garlic, cherry tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes and the lemon zest and juice. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt and plenty of pepper.
Pour in 1 ltr boiling water and turn the hob back on to a medium high setting. Pop on a lid (or cover with a baking tray) and bring it all to the boil.
When you can hear the pan bubbling, remove the lid. Cook for a further 6 mins, turning the pasta regularly with tongs or a couple of large forks.
After 6 mins, add the baby leaf spinach to the pan and toss together. Cook for a further 2 mins, till the spinach has wilted and the pasta is al dente (soft with a slight bite). Remove from the heat. Most of the water will have been absorbed, but if it is a little too dry, or sticking, add a few tbsp water during cooking.
Tear in most of the basil leaves. Toss together. Add more salt and pepper if you think the dish needs it. Divide between 6 warm bowls. Garnish with the remaining basil leaves to serve.
The right pan
The pan needs to be big enough for the spaghetti to lay flat in it. If yours is on the smaller side, you will need to break the spaghetti in half. The pasta may need a little less cooking time at the end.
Eat me, keep me
This dish will last in the fridge for 3 days. If not eating straight away, stop cooking the pasta at the end of step 5, before you add the spinach. Divide the pasta between a few containers and top with the raw spinach leaves. To warm through and finish cooking the pasta, add a splash of water and pop in the microwave till piping hot. Or heat gently in a pan with a good splash or two of water till warmed and the pasta is fully cooked. We don't recommend freezing this dish.