Here is my recipe from my sister for smokey aubergine spaghetti for 4 to 5 people. The tomato base is from a school friend’s mother near Florence 36 years ago and I’ve been making it ever since as it was so delicious, and I added the aubergine just because I love the smokey flavour. It smells like an autumn evening in Tuscany while you are cooking it too.

You will need:

1 Aubergine

3 to 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tins of tomatoes, blended

1 bunch basil, finely chopped or torn

1 tsp salt

500 g spaghetti

Freshly ground black pepper

First, grill your aubergine over an open flame until blackened on all sides, then put in a bowl to one side while you make the tomato sauce.

Smoky Aubergine

Place the chopped garlic and the olive oil on a gentle heat until you see the tiny bubbles, then add the tomatoes, the basil and the salt.

Chopping Garlic

Stir well and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally and if sticking add a small quantity of water.

Cokking Tmato Sauce

Cook the spaghetti in boiling water until al dente. While the spaghetti is cooking and the aubergine is cool enough peel the burnt bits off and chop finely.

Smoked Aubergine sauce

Add to the tomato sauce, stir and serve with spaghetti, freshly ground black pepper and parmesan if you wish.

Wine Pairing Notes

With such a smoky aubergine dish you're going to need a wine that can stand up to the sauce - and Brunello fits the bill perfectly. My butler recommends the 1988 Brunello di Montalcino from Cerbaiona, of which Berry Bros say: "Lovely mature nose with hints of forest floor, brambly fruit, black fruit compote and toast. Wonderful on the palate, elegant and fine, similar dark fruit profile to the nose, beautifully focussed by a crisp, linear structure. The finish is long and satisfying, very elegant.". You can pick up a magnum for £ 473.20 at the moment.

If Berry and Bros have run out, you might also consider this sicilian Nero d'Avola from Aldi, at a very pleasing £ 4.99...