Rainy night (mostly not) pasta

Pasta has always been my favourite “comfort food” to have when it’s cold, dark, rainy or whenever my state of mind otherwise requires something simple, easy and satisfying.  Or when I just don’t know what to cook. Tonight was cold and dark and rainy and I felt lazy after my (first Kayla Itsines BBG) workout at the gym, so I decided to make one of my absolute favourite pasta dishes. I don’t actually eat that much “regular” pasta e.g. pasta made with water and traditional grains like wheat, but when I do, I like to prepare it home because then I get to choose a wholegrain version and balance the vegetable/pasta ratio of the dish to my specific liking (“mostly not pasta” = I love to use a huge amount of veggies and a smaller amount of the pasta itself, think of a “pasta salad”). My favourite “regular” pastas are organic wholegrain spelt and rye – they do not only taste delicious and wholesome, but also contain a significant amount of fiber compared to white wheat pasta. I will probably dedicate another post for the most typical pasta alternatives such as zucchini spaghetti a.k.a. “zoodles” or black bean spaghetti in the future.

 

Anyhow, here comes my healthy, satisfying, comforting, rather traditional and very veggie-full pasta (salad) recipe:

Smoked paprika aubergine pasta

Serves 1 hungry person

What you will need:

a serving of your favourite pasta (I use around 80g of wholegrain spelt or rye)


1 small aubergine (eggplant)


1/2 small zucchini


1/2 can of pre-cooked butterbeans


1/2 small red onion


5 cherry tomatoes


5 Kalamata olives


a handful of fresh spinach


1/2tsp granulated garlic


1/2tsp smoked paprika


extra virgin olive oil for cooking & drizzling over the pasta


Himalayan salt to taste

Optional for serving:
 nutritional yeast, fresh basil or other herbs

How to do it:

  • Pre-heat your oven to 225c. While heating, slice your aubergine lengthwise so you end up with two halves, then place them on parchment paper on a baking tray. Roast in the oven for around 20mins until the aubergine is lightly browned and soft.
  • While your aubergine is roasting, cook your pasta “al dente” in boiling water, heat some olive oil on the pan, chop your red onion and then sautée it on the pan. Also chop your other vegetables and rinse your butterbeans.
  • When your aubergine is ready, let it cool down a bit (don’t burn your hands) and then cube it, but do not remove the skin.
  • Throw your zucchini, aubergine and pre-cooked butterbeans on the pan, then add garlic and smoked paprika and cook for a couple of minutes, leaving the thin zucchini slices quite raw.
  • Add your cooked pasta, cherry tomatoes, spinach and olives on the pan, mix everything and transfer to a serving bowl immediately.
  • Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with Himalayan salt and nutritional yeast if you wish. Fresh basil is a nice extra too! Enjoy!

xx a

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