One of my all time guilty pleasures is pasta, I mean who doesn’t love pasta?
I try not to eat it too regularly but when I do I make it worth it. There is just something so satisfying about a big bowl of pasta with a homemade sauce that is so utterly gratifying, you know what im talking about.
I like to use spelt pasta or quinoa pasta when I can as an alternative . I find the spelt pasta the closest in flavour and texture though without the heavy carb feeling afterwards. Spelt is low in GI so has slow releasing energy rather complex carbohydrates that gives us that full sluggish feeling, making it harder to digest. However, it is not gluten-free so if that is your requirement use quinoa or a grain pasta instead.
This homemade eggplant sauce is the perfect winter warmer. Traditionally from Sicily this sauce has everything you want in one bowl. The sweetness of the eggplant once slowly simmered, the depth of the rich tomato sauce and a hit of chilli to keep your insides all warm and cosy. If you prefer you can always enjoy the eggplant flavoured sauce without the chilli hit with your favourite pasta. I chose a spelt spiral pasta though penne or rigatoni would work nicely too soaking up the sauce with a sprinkle of parmesan to serve.
Sicilian Eggplant Caponata Pasta
1 large eggplant/aubergine
1 red capsicum/pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small handful parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 700g jar tomato passata sauce
1 cup water
1/2 tsp chilli powder or paprika
1 tsp salt
500g spelt spiral or penne pasta
- Dice eggplant and capsicum into large chunks.
- Heat oil in a large pan on high heat, cook eggplant and capsicums for 5 mins until starts to soften and brown.
- Add diced onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, and cook stirring for 2-3 mins
- Add red wine vinegar stir until vinegar evaporates then add the tomato passata sauce plus the water
- Continue to stir and bring to the boil. Add chilli, or paprika if you prefer and season to taste with salt and pepper
- Turn heat to low and simmer with lid on for 1 hour.
- Once the sauce has thickened and vegetables are soft cook your pasta per packet instructions.
- Stir through the eggplant sauce and top with some grated parmesan cheese (omit for vegan recipe)
Note- The secret to a good pasta sauce is the longer you simmer it the better the end flavour. The sauce develops the longer you leave it so if you have time let it simmer away on low heat for at least an hour and a half or two. You will notice the differecne let me assure you.