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Roasted Aubergine and Basil Pasta Bake

Roasted_Aubergine_Pasta 600

Serves 4

300g wholewheat pasta shapes, such as penne or fusilli
olive oil
2 medium aubergines, cut into 2.5cm dice
salt and pepper
1 red onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp torn fresh basil leaves or 2 tbsp basil pesto
100g grated mozzarella
green salad, to serve

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and a dd in the pasta. Cook according to the packet instructions until al dente. Drain well in a colander and drizzle over a little olive oil. Shake the colander to mix the oil through the pasta.
  • Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the aubergines and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and spread out on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Roast for 12–15 minutes, until the aubergine is slightly charred on the edges and soft.
  • Meanwhile, sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. After about 8 minutes, when the onion is translucent, add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  • When the aubergine is ready, add it to the tomato sauce and cook for a further 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the fresh basil or basil pesto.
  • Pour the pasta into 1 large baking dish or 4 individual dishes. Spread over the sauce evenly. Sprinkle the grated mozzarella on top and place under the oven grill until the cheese melts and browns slightly.
  • Serve with the remaining fresh basil or pesto and a green side salad.

The Ish Factor:
Wholewheat pasta is a very easy, healthy swap to make for regular pasta. Wholewheat pasta has three times more fibre, double the B vitamins and 25% more protein compared to refined white pasta. From a texture and flavour point of view, there isn’t such a huge difference that your family will notice. Whole wheat pasta cooks to a nice firm, al dente texture with a very similar taste to white pasta.

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