The search for the best non-tomato pasta base is on. And I think I am getting closer to it. First it was the Hummus pasta, and now this one.
What’s so special about this one, you might ask. Its just tomatoes and aubergine again. Haven’t you already cooked this? Yes, just that this time, its roasted aubergine paste as sauce to bind the pasta ingredients together.
I am not a fan of the white sauce. I don’t use it even when I am making lasagne, and I try to stay as far as possible from it in my casseroles. I did hit a good recipe where I substituted the AP flour with sorghum flour, but still, the white coloured base is not what I think is appetizing. Call me judgemental, if you may, but no white sauce for me, thank you very much.
Roasted aubergine, and charred cherry tomatoes and garlic. I knew I couldn’t go wrong with these. But I wasn’t sure how it would be to eat pasta based on aubergine sauce. I had a very Baingan-ka-barta feeling about this, and didn’t want to do that either. And that is why I used very minimal flavouring. The pasta is flavoured entirely with the roasted aubergine and the tomatoes, with little help from garlic, and some chilli flakes for company. And since the idea was to eat an Italian meal, I added wee little bit of oregano and basil.
It was the earthiest, fullest pasta I’ve had after the Hummus one. And I am going to totally make this again and again. Incredibly easy, gets ready in less than 30 mins, and is packed with veggies. So what if it has the I-am-useless-in-terms-of-nutrients-aubergine, it still adds to the daily quota of 5 different vegetables.
So try this when you don’t want to do tomato-sauce based pasta, or want to go with as less oil as possible, you can totally try this one out.
Ingredients [Serves 2]
Pasta of your choice – 1 cup
Aubergine/Eggplant – 1 large sized
Cherry tomatoes – 200 gms, washed
Spring onions (Optional) – 2-3 stalks , chopped fine
Garlic cloves – 4-5, crushed
Olive oil – 2tbsp
Red chilli flakes – 1 tsp
Dried Oregano – 1/2 tsp
Dried Basil – 1/2 tsp
Sea Salt – To taste
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the carton.
Place the aubergine on the stove, and roast it on an open flame. Alternatively, you can smear olive oil on it and let it be roasted in a pre-heated oven. Let it cool , and peel off its skin.
Chop it into big pieces, and using a blender, make a paste out of the roasted aubergine.
Heat the olive oil in a pan, and put the cherry tomatoes in it . Sprinkle salt on top of the tomatoes, and let this be on heat till the tomatoes are cooked, and are about to be charred. Put these aside.
In the same oil, sauté the crushed garlic , spring onion, red chilli flakes and herbs. Add the aubergine paste, and mix well. Now add the charred tomatoes to this sauce, and mix just enough to not squash the tomatoes. Add salt to taste.
Mix this sauce with the cooked pasta, and serve hot.
Garnish with the spring onion greens, if you like. Add pepper on top if you need.