On this chilly winter’s night, I wanted something warm and hearty for dinner. So although I said I don’t eat pasta that often, I am now posting two pasta recipes in a row! Oops.
This dish was super-easy to make and I adapted the recipe from The Fresh & Green Table by Susie Middleton. The recipe in the book was for a mushroom pasta bake but I switched the mushrooms for aubergine. Part of the reason I wanted to use aubergine tonight was because of this gorgeous guy I picked up yesterday. Check out the amazing colour!
The book is not strictly vegetarian so I also switched up the cheeses to be veggie-friendly and made my own sauce instead of using the suggested ready-made pizza sauce.
Aubergine Pasta Bake
140g penne pasta (I used whole-wheat penne)
400g canned chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 teaspoon garlic purée
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
Freshly cracked pepper to season
80g aubergine, diced
25g red pepper, diced
50g mozzarella, chopped
30g cheddar, grated
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Brush a medium baking dish with olive oil.
2. Bring large saucepan of water to the boil and add pasta. Cook until al-dente.
3. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Empty tomatoes into medium mixing bowl and add tomato and garlic purées, herbs, chilli and cracked pepper and stir through. Add 2 tablespoons of the pasta water to thin sauce a little.
4. When mixed well, add aubergine, red pepper and mozzarella and stir until well combined.
5. Drain pasta and stir into sauce. Poor mixture evenly into baking dish, top with cheddar and bake until browned, around 20-25 minutes.
This is one of those recipes that is so easy to mix up to suit your own tastes, or the veggies you have in your fridge! I really loved it with the aubergine, as it went nice and spongy and the red pepper added a little more texture and sweetness. I am a big fan of chilli but of course, this is entirely optional. All the cheese I used was ‘light’ so (I can pretend) it is a fairly healthy meal. But if nothing else, it is a deliciously-comforting winter warmer.