Although I did not quite start painting I decided I wanted to bring this mysterious aura of the aubergine into one photograph – to highlight its mysteriousness and allow the almost reclusive mood of the vegetable to translate onto the plate – anel
I always had a deep love for aubergines – something more than the usual obsession … when I see aubergines I want to design and create. I want to take out a canvas and start painting all its deep and alluring hues. The aubergine is just so mysterious and captivating, I don’t know if it is the beautiful shape with the green crown or that dark purple colour – or when you cut them they are full of these beautiful seeds and flesh – something dark, almost sinister yet enticing.
My mom used to sprinkle it with salt, then just roll it into some flour and fry then in a pan of oil. She then gave it a little sprinkle of Worcestershire sauce – and I was in heaven. Soft, delicious and packed with flavour.
So with this all said, I decided to keep this recipe simple using only tomatoes and some red peppers however, my creativity got the better of me after I took the pics. Although I did not quite start painting I decided I wanted to bring this mysterious aura of the aubergine into one photograph – to highlight its mysteriousness and allow the almost reclusive mood of the vegetable to translate onto the plate. Enjoy.
aubergine + tomato pasta
- 500g Aubergines – cut into 1 cm circles - leave the skin on
- 500g Rosa tomatoes
- One whole garlic bulb – cut in half (do not peel or break into smaller cloves)
- 1 Red pepper sliced thinly
- Parmesan cheese
- Olive oil
- Fresh parsley
- Fresh basil
- 500g Pasta – cooked as per packet instructions
- Preheat oven to 190 C°. Sprinkle the tomatoes, red pepper, garlic generously with olive oil and paint both sides of the aubergine with the olive oil. Place everything on a baking tray sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and bake for 40 minutes.
- In the mean time cook your pasta until al dente.
- When done squeeze some of the roasted tomatoes with your hands into a pulp over the pasta – mix into the pasta. It forms a tomato sauce for the pasta.
- Tear the aubergines and add the red peppers. Squeeze the garlic out of the shells and add to the dish.
- Season liberally with Maldon salt and some pepper and a good sprinkle with olive oil.
- Finish the dish off by adding parmesan shavings and freshly chopped parsley and some basil leaves.
My mom, Babs, is in her eighties, extremely healthy and has been a size 10 her whole life. She is one of those “odd” people who does not like butter, cream, fatty foods, deep fried foods, chips and crisps or anything unhealthy and then she also does’nt like too much spices either – not like her not-so-small-foodie-wine-drinking-spice-loving-daughter! Lean proteins, huge salads, vegetables, different kinds of fruit and whole grains are part of her daily regimen – washed down with a cuppa tea or two or ten – and then … always a healthy strong whiskey every single night. I have to admit though that she has been prone to a bit of strong cheese and a dash of olive oil here and there just to keep the body parts in good working order.
So when Babs comes to visit I have to cook something healthy and therefore for our Sunday lunch recently I prepared a chicken breast covered in fresh herbs, some stem broccoli and I served it on parmesan + lemon flavoured pasta. It was delicious, fresh with a light and dreamy springtime flavour… but most importantly … mom approved. Enjoy!
herby chicken + stem broccoli + parmesan and lemon pasta = healthy springtime surprise
- For the chicken
- 4 Skinless deboned chicken breasts
- 1T Olive oil
- 1 Clove garlic – peeled and sliced in 4 slices length ways
- 2 T Fresh coriander – chopped
- 2T Fresh parsley – chopped
- 1T Fresh basil – chopped
- 1 Lemon
- Black pepper
- For the spaghetti
- Cook enough spaghetti for 4 people
- 2T Olive oil
- 75g Grated parmesan cheese
- 2T Fresh parsley – chopped
- 1 Lemon
- Black pepper
- For the stem broccoli
- 4 or more stem broccoli
- Black Pepper
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Chicken: Make small incisions into the chicken breasts and insert a sliver of garlic into each breast.
- Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Mix all chopped herbs together – parsley, coriander and basil.
- Then press the breasts in the fresh herbs – so that the herbs coat both sides of the chicken breasts.
- Using a non-stick pan fry the breasts till done – while frying squeeze a bit of lemon over the chicken.
- When done put aside.
- Pasta: Add the parmesan, olive oil and lemon in a bowl – mix well and add to the cooked pasta.
- Then mix the parsley through.
- Taste the pasta for seasoning – add some more salt and add the black pepper.
- Stem broccoli: Cook as per packet instructions – normally only 3-4 minutes.
- Immediately put in a bath of ice water.
- After a while, warm the broccoli up again in the same pot you have cooked them – add a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
- To assemble: Place the cooked pasta the bottom of the bowl. Add the stem broccoli and then the chicken breast. To serve, add another drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon and parmesan shavings.