Pasta is an ultimate comfort food and I’ve given it the superfood treatment teaming it up with a sauce celebrating silky aubergines, sweet and tangy tomato spiked with garlic, basil and chili. It’s a comfort food dish with no guilt at all really healthy and it’s all about loving these. So, I’m just gonna take the end off the aubergine like that. Just get rid of that little stalk. I’m gonna zip the aubergines in half and criss-cross the flesh here just to let the steam in. And about 20-25 minutes of good steaming is all we need to make these lovely aubergines incredibly creamy and silky and elegant and gorgeous. We’re also gonna steam two chilies, but prick them first to stop them exploding. Next lightly toast 40 grams of pine nuts. This is a vegetarian dish, but we still want to get that hit of protein so we’re getting it from the ricotta, the parmesan and the pine nuts. Just kind of badly pound them up so you get some chunks, you get some whole ones, but also you get some kind of mush as well. And it’s like a little sprinkle at the end with a little parmesan, some basil leaves. It’s gonna look and taste incredible. Finely slice two cloves of garlic and remove about 30 grams worth of basil leaves from the stalk. There is flavour and fibre. So this is going to go into the base of my sauce and there’s a kind of sweetness in the stalks that you get, that you don’t get in the leaves. We’re gonna put a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Let’s put in our garlic and our basil stalks. Then I’m gonna go very quickly in with two tins of lovely tomatoes. Pour the tomatoes in, refill the tins with water and add to the pan. Lovely, so bring it to the boil, get the heat nice and high and then break up those tomatoes with the spoon and then we’ll turn it down to a little gentler medium heat. Let that bubble away for ten minutes. Time to cook your pasta and I’m gonna use the water that’s been steaming the aubergines. I’m using whole wheat to ramp up the fibre. Let’s check our steamed veg. Look at that. You can kind of feel already that they’re getting sort of absolutely silky smooth. Just pull the chilies out. They’re gonna be nice and tender and sweet. Just take the end off. Use the tip of the knife and just run it down the length of the chilli. You can see how tender it is. You can open it out like a book. You can see where the skin and the flesh just separate and we can just use the tip of the knife to get rid of all the seeds. So, that’s the really hot part of the chili. What I do want is the fruit. So if you see how brilliantly this skin comes off when you steam it, absolutely beautiful. Next, finely slice the chili and add to the pan. Stir that beautiful chili in and what we can do to speed up the texture just use potato masher to just squash the tomatoes like that. Now, let’s have a little feel of the aubergine. You want it just to fall apart, so can you just tear it? Yeah that’s exactly what I want. Gorgeous and all I’m gonna do now is simmer this. Let it all cook into each other, almost casserole. And that is gonna be beautiful. Leave to reduce down for about seven to
ten minutes. So, it’s looking good. Let’s drain the pasta. It’s had its time. This is ricotta. It’s a very, very light cheese. It’s a wonderful carrier of flavours. You can see it’s bright and delicate and gorgeous. We’ll go in with the pasta, in with the basil. I love the way the ricotta just kind of curds and breaks up. So gently does it. This is for four people, so it’s generous. So, look if you’re happy to give it a toss that’s even better although you do sort of cover yourself with it, but that’s alright. Just go over to a nice big platter pour that lovely sauce over it so generous, so sweet. It’s so beautiful. Scatter with more bright, punchy basil then the toasted pine nut crumbs. And then a light brush of parmesan from a height, all over the place and that my friends is one of my favourite pastas. It’s really, really good. So, that really is a superfood classic pasta dish, gorgeous. It’s got all of the food groups; dairy, protein, carbohydrates and your veg and look at it. Right, let’s get in there. Let’s have a go. mmm The aubergine is silky smooth, a sweet tomato sauce and that hit of chili is really, really, good. mmm And you know what it’s four hundred and seventy calories, it’s really, really good. A little side salad and you are laughing.