Aubergine and chickpea penne


I had written ‘saffron’ on the shopping list but The Meat Eater went to the supermarket on his own and came back saffronless as he couldn’t bring himself to pay so much for it. Saffron is, after all, more expensive – pound for pound – than gold.

Still, I found some in the back of the spice cupboard so it didn’t really matter. I may still put it in the trolley when he’s not looking though.

Today’s recipe is another one from Vegan 100 Everyday Recipes and it was perfect summer evening food.

What I did differently to the recipe:

I cut down on the amount of coriander, as coriander’s not really my thing.
It asks for cumin seeds, crushed, so I thought this was probably the same as ground cumin, so I used that.

I didn’t have tinned chopped tomatoes with garlic, so used plain tinned tomatoes and added 1tsp garlic powder (I would have used fresh but didn’t have any).

I left out the cinnamon as The Meat Eater doesn’t like it in savoury stuff.

Aubergine and chickpea penne (serves 4)

large pinch of saffron threads
450ml vegan stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
350g aubergine, diced
1 large red pepper, deseeded and chopped
400g canned chopped tomatoes with garlic
1 tsp ground cinnamon
30g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks separated and roughly chopped
400g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
280g dried penne
salt and pepper

Toast the saffron threads in a dry frying pan set over a medium heat for 20-30 seconds, just until they begin to give off their aroma. Place in a small bowl and crumble with your fingers. Add 2 tablespoons of the hot stock and set aside to infuse.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and fry for 5-6 minutes, until golden brown. Add the cumin and fry for a further 20-30 seconds, then stir in the aubergine, red pepper, tomatoes, cinnamon, coriander stalks, saffron liquid and remaining stock. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the chickpeas to the saucepan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for a further 5 minutes, removing the lid to reduce and thicken the sauce if necessary.

Serve with penne or other pasta.

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