Today, I give you… pasta. For dinner. Yup, a savory dish. Very out of character, I know! Still, here it is: eggplant and spinach penne pasta that takes only 20 minutes to make. And even though it’s really yummy and delicious and convenient, I’m soooo nervous about actually posting this recipe!
I’ve been toying with the idea of posting savory recipes ever since I first started the blog. It just never really happened because my heart belongs to sweets. However, back then, I was planning on sharing a recipe for the best ever mashed potatoes (made with apple juice!) and chicken vol au vents. Yet here I am today, posting about pasta instead. Here’s what happened: last week, the Rocking Rebel and I decided that, after almost 5 months of eating virtually the same seven dishes week after week (because helloooo… new parents!), we were tired of eating the same things every week, and ready to change things up. So last week, I whipped up this awesome penne pasta. And we loved it!
So, I made it again (wait, did I just say we were tired of eating the same things over and over again?) and took a photo. And another one. And okay, a third. And then I thought long and hard about posting the recipe. I mean, up until now, I’ve posted maybe three savory recipes in three years of blogging. I wasn’t sure whether you guys would appreciate a post about pasta. I KNOW you guys like cakes and cupcakes and cookies and stuff, but pasta? I just didn’t know what to do.
Then the Rocking Rebel reminded me that my blog is about deliciousness, so here it is!
This pasta is really easy to make and actually pretty good for you! When I’m not stuffing my face with peanut butter cake or eating Biscoff frosting straight out of the bowl, I try to keep things pretty healthy 😉
To make this pasta, you’ll need just a few basic ingredients. First, there is the pasta. I used whole wheat penne, but you can use whatever pasta you prefer (not sure the Italians would agree with me, but whatevs…). The sauce is made with passata (tomato puree), an onion, a clove of garlic, spinach, eggplant, and a little balsamic vinegar. And salt, pepper and olive oil. Cook the pasta, make a quick sauce… Easy stuff. I have a baby, so I NEED to keep meals simple 😉
Simple, but delicious. This pasta is packed with veggies and flavor! Simple + delicious + healthy. What’s not to love?
And STIL I’m nervous to share it with you guys… 😉
Now I’m going to hit enter before I lose my nerve!
Enjoy guys, and please let me know what you think! Oh, and for those of you who never eat dinner and only care for sweet recipes: I have a recipe for an awesome carrot cake coming up in just a few days 😉
And yes, I’ve added a hidden long pin again, for those of you who know where to look for it 😉
- 1 medium-sized eggplant (about 350g or 12 ounces), washed
- 200g (7 ounces) dry penne pasta, I used whole wheat
- 1 medium-sized onion (about 60g, or 2 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 400g (or 14 ounces) passata or tomato purée
- two large handfuls (about 100g or 3.5 ounces) fresh spinach, washed and roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- salt and black pepper, to taste and to salt the water for the pasta
- parmesan, to serve
- Bring a pot of water to a boil to cook the pasta. Heat a griddle pan over high heat.
- Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 1-cm (or about ½-inch) thick slices and place the slices on the hot griddle pan. Crank the heat down to medium-high and cook the eggplant slices in batches, turning them once they have a nice charred griddle pattern, about 1-2 minutes per side. Once both sides are charred, transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add the dried pasta to the boiling water, salt the water, and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions (usually about 11 minutes). Make sure to stir every now and then.
- In the meantime, heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Peel and chop the onion, add the oil to the hot pan, add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes over low heat, or until translucent. Add the spinach and cook for a few minutes until welted, stirring regularly.
- Mince the garlic and add it to the spinach and onion pan. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Chop the eggplant into bite-sized cubes, then add it to the pan, along with the passata and balsamic vinegar. Cranck the heat up to high and stir until the sauce comes to a boil. Don’t forget to stir the pasta every now and then. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain it. Add the sauce to the pasta, divide over two plates and top with fresh Parmesan shavings. Serve immediately.