pasta with kale, mushrooms, eggplant and tomatoes
Pasta meals are one of the many ways I like my one pot meals. There is a certain comfort in such warm meals packed with season's bounty, the fresh vegetables. The best thing is that one can add whatever vegetables one likes in a pasta dish, adding chicken shreds, shrimps or even boiled eggs to balance it.
Boiled eggs are the most common accompaniment to our pasta meals these days as elaborate prep work has not been possible for a long time. I have been busy with work and other stupid things that I do and have resorted to quick meals most of the times. Pasta comes handy even for the lunch boxes sometimes.
Let me tell you how to make this pasta with aubergines, mushrooms, tomatoes and kale. You need two pans on the gas stove and it will be ready in about 15-20 minutes. I keep chopping the vegetables as I toss them one by one into the pan to save time.
2-3 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp dry thyme (and or other herbs you like)
100-120 gms of elbow pasta or penne
one large round aubergine or brinjal (about 300 gm)
150 gm button mushrooms
one large ripe tomato (juicier the better)
1 cup shredded kale (or any other leafy greens)
1 tbsp chopped garlic chives
few basil leaves torn
salt to taste (separately for boiling pasta and for sauteing vegetables)
Parmesan cheese to taste
Boil one liter of water with salt and dump the pasta in it. Cook till the pasta is done to your liking. Do not overcook pasta as it looses all texture and doesn't pick up the flavours of the vegetables and seasoning.
Quarter the aubergine lengthwise and slice into thick bite size pieces.
Pour half of the oil and add half of the garlic into a wide pan. Place it on the gas stove now and arrange all the aubergine slices in one layer, sprinkle salt. Let it cook till lightly browned on one side and then turn, cook on the other side too, empty into a bowl. It takes about 5 minutes so dice the mushrooms in the meantime.
Pour the remaining oil and and the garlic. Add the diced mushrooms, salt and toss. Add the chili flakes and toss for just two minutes so the mushrooms are just softened and not overcooked. Dice the tomato and add, dump all the cooked aubergine and toss everything together.
The pasta should be done by now, strain it reserving 3-4 tbsp of the boiling water and dump all the pasta into the vegetables mix. add the chopped kale and chives and give it all a good toss.
Serve with shaved Parmesan and an extra drizzle of herb infused olive oil if you like.
The above recipe can be just one serving for some people but it has been quite filling for both of us every time. We do have boiled eggs with it when we are hungry or load it up with some chicken breast too, sauteed separately. Aubergine and mushrooms work really well together so try this combination and do let me know. Use spinach or fenugreek leaves if you don't have kale, rocket works too.
I have not been sharing recipes lately due to sheer laziness or hectic work schedules but I will be back with more recipes that have worked for me in such busy and lazy times. There are a few pressure cooker pasta recipes to be shared as well, been relying on them a lot.