I remember I didn’t like aubergines (or eggplant) as a child. Who knows, maybe the flavor was too strong for my immature palate?  But as an adult I love this vegetable! Aubergine is widely used in many refined dishes in Turkish cuisine. But even so I’ve observed that it is practically always used with the same techniques – grilled over flames or fried – and to make the same recipes over and over again. Yes, it’s true that Turkish cuisine does offer several exquisite dishes made with aubergine but why not try to consume this vegetable in unconventional ways too? This recipe of oven-baked aubergine to go with pasta is one that I’ve developed myself. I should also note that you may just as well serve this dish on its own – without pasta – just with the tomato sauce and yoghurt sauce as a side dish or “meze.”
 
 
 

Ingredients

  • 1 large bell eggplant (about 500 gr)
  • 1 head of garlic, or at least 10-12 cloves
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 sweet red pepper
  • 4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, dried mint, dried basil, freshly ground black pepper, paprika
For tomatoe sauce
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper
For yoghurt sauce
  • 300 gr yoghurt
  • a handful of finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2-3 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, salt

Step by step method

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  1. Heat oven to 200 C degrees  and meanwhile place a roasting dish into oven.
  2. Peel eggpant in alternating stripes then cut into cubes. Peel tomato, take out seeds and dice. Peel garlic cloves but leave whole. Blend everything together with olive oil and spices, spread into roasting dish and place in oven.
  3. Leave to bake for approximately 30-40 minutes, tossing ingredients twice during baking time.
  4. Meanwhile place all ingredients for tomato sauce into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
  5. Place all ingredients for yoghurt sauce into a bowl and blend well.
  6. Cook pasta in plenty of salted water. Drain and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
  7. To serve, place pasta, spoon over some tomato sauce, then place some of the oven-baked eggplant mixture and top with a dollop of the yoghurt sauce to finish. Serve immediately.