Aubergine Napoletana Pasta Sauce
We all know the feeling....
It’s a mid-week evening. The fridge is half empty. You are tired. The idea of take-out in front of Game of Thrones starts quietly serenading you. Before you give in, why don't you give this little napoletana sauce recipe a shot. Throw it over the top of your favorite pasta, or even better some zucchini noodles, and you'll have yourself a tasty and satisfying dinner in no time.
A go-to mid-week recipe.
This sauce is a great mid-week dinner solution and any left overs can also be used for future lunches or dinners. The other day my sister was telling me that she has a list of easy recipes in the notes section of her phone. When she is wandering around the supermarket on a weeknight, tired and uninspired, she pulls it out and choses something from it. This recipe is the perfect candidate for such a list!
Napoletana sauce, meet spiralized zucchini.
The sauce works a treat on top of any pasta, though ideally a whole grain or gluten free option. If you want a lighter and healthier version then you should give zucchini noodles a shot. They go perfectly with this sauce and are way tastier than they initially sound. To make zucchini into noodles, you will need to get yourself a spiralizer or julienne peeler. I recommend investing in a spiralizer, which you can easily buy online for a reasonable price. It is a fantastic way to integrate more vegetables into your life in a fun and tasty way. For all you could possibly need to know and more about spiralizing check out Inspiralized. Happy eating! Love Michelle xo
Aubergine Napoletana Pasta Sauce
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 35 mins
1 Large Aubergine/ Eggplant, peeled
1 Clove Garlic, peeled and crushed
½ Onion, finely diced
2.5 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Jar (approx. 290g) Napoletana or Puttanesca Sauce (chose a good quality organic one if possible, with a minimum/no added sugar or preservatives )
Handful Fresh Basil
Herb salt and pepper, to taste
4 Medium-Large Zucchini
Juice of ¼ Lemon
Whole grain / gluten-free / lentil spagetti or pasta of your choice
Cut off the stem of aubergine, peel and dice into small cubes. Transfer to a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt (I use iodized table salt for this). Leave to the side and move to step 2/3. While doing this, you will notice that the salt draws the liquid out of the Aubergine. Use paper towel to pat the aubergine and absorb the liquid before using the aubergine. This helps prevent a bitter taste that the liquid may have and stops the aubergine soaking up too much of the oil when it goes into the pan.
If making zucchini noodles, use the spiralizer or peeler to spiralize the zucchini. Place zucchini noodles in a bowl and squeeze lemon juice over the top. Leave to the side.
If making spaghetti or pasta, put the water on to boil.
Heat olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add crushed garlic and diced onion, sauté until they start to soften. Pat the aubergine dry using the paper towel, and then add to the saucepan. Sauté, stirring regularly so that it browns evenly. While this is happening you can start step 4 below. When aubergine is brown and soft, add the pasta sauce to the pan and mix until well combined. Season with herb salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Turn off heat but leave the frying pan on the heat element so the sauce stays warm. Stir occasionally.
To prepare the zucchini noodles: in a wok or deep frying pan, warm ½ tbsp. Olive Oil. Add the zucchini noodles and use tongs to turn the noodles so that they are all lightly coated in oil. Sprinkle some powdered garlic over the noodles and turn to mix through. Keep turning the noodles in the pan with the tongs until they soften. This will only take a couple of minutes. You don’t want to leave the noodles too long as this will make them too soggy. If in doubt, take them out earlier rather than later.
When zucchini noodles (or spaghetti) are ready, use tongs to divide them into two portions in pasta bowls. Top with aubergine napoletana sauce. Sprinkle fresh basil on top before serving.
You can put any leftover sauce back into the pasta sauce jar and store it in the fridge to use another day.