It is interesting how Italy dominates the pasta world when noodles of all sorts are found all over the world, from Israel through Italy, around the Middle East, through India and Asia and up to Japan. Similarly with pizza, where many countries top their flat leavened and unleavened breads with a whole range of ingredients.
So let’s continue to celebrate noodles world wide with this dish from Iran. It is topped with roasted eggplants that are then cooked with garlic and spices, and a tangy yoghurt and creme fraiche mixture, and a mint oil. Perfectly delicious.
It is an Ottolenghi recipe, from his book Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area or in our kitchen. For this dish we stuck pretty close to the recipe.
In fact it is Ottolenghi Cook the Booksday on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note again that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.
Similar recipes include Noodles with Spring Onions and Edamame, Soba Noodle Salad with Cucumber and Sesame Seed, Chickpea and Butter Bean Soup with Reshteh Noodles, Glass Noodles with Spinach, and Japanese Noodles in Broth with Tofu.
Browse all of our Noodle recipes, our Pasta dishes, and our Eggplant dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.
Iranian Noodles with Eggplant, Saffron and Kashk
3 large aubergines
200g kashk or use 140g crème fraîche mixed with 60g of Parmesan
75ml of olive oil, plus a bit extra
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tspn cumin seeds
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tblspn lime juice
150g Greek or Indian yoghurt
1 tspn chickpea flour
2 tspn dried mint
500g reshteh noodles, or linguine pasta
0.5 tspn saffron threads soaked in 0.5 Tblspn lukewarm water
10g fresh mint, shredded
sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 230ºC.
Pierce the aubergines a few times with a sharp knife, place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and roast in the oven for about 1 hour or until the flesh is totally soft. Set aside to cool a bit, then cut in half and scoop out the flesh into a colander. Leave to drain for at least 30 minutes and discard the skin.
Put the crème fraîche and Parmesan mixture into a small saucepan with 75ml of water. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat, stir, then set aside.
Heat 2 Tblspn of the olive oil in a medium sauté pan and place on a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cumin seeds and cook for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the aubergine flesh and garlic, along with salt and black pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes before adding the lime juice. Stir for a final minute, then remove from the heat.
Beat the yoghurt with the chickpea flour until smooth, then add to the crème fraîche mixture and heat over a low flame for 5 minutes. Watch the mixture carefully – stir regularly and don’t let the pan heat too much or the yoghurt may split.
Mix the dried mint with a Tblspn of the oil and set aside.
Cook the noodles in a large pan of salted water according to the instructions on the pack, until cooked but still retaining a bite. Stir 2 Tblspn of oil through the cooked pasta, mix and then divide between shallow bowls or plates. Drizzle over the mint oil, followed by the aubergine. Top this with the crème fraîche and yoghurt mixture, followed by the saffron water, fresh mint and a final drizzle of oil. Serve at once.