Here I am. Stuck in office at 10:30 pm because of heavy rains, flooded roads, traffic blocks and several calls from concerned friends and family asking me not to venture out till water subsides. I have checked various website, talked to some not-so-busy colleagues and even played games on my iphone.
Rains are associated with hot, spicy, yummy food. And I would love to curl up on the couch with a generous helping of my favourite pasta recipe while it drizzled outside. But this is no drizzle. And the more it pours, the more I am reminded of chilli flakes for the heat, the anger in people stuck in traffic and some like me at office. So, here I am. Posting my all time favourite recipe with some extra chilli flakes dedicated to the rains in Ahmedabad today, which I describe as the beautiful, romantic blushing bride who turned into an annoying wife in no time.
Spicy Pasta in Red Sauce on Grilled Eggplants
Delicious penne in slightly spicy red sauce served on a bed of juicy, oven grilled eggplant slices
For the pasta
Penne pasta 200 gms
Two medium-sized tomatoes, boiled, peeled and deseeded
Tomato sauce (optional)
4 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp Chilli flakes
1/2 tsp Basil
Thyme & Parsley (optional)
For the eggplant
One large Eggplant
Method: Bring three cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add salt. When it starts to boil, add pasta and a teaspoon of olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking. The pasta usually carries instructions about the time needed for cooking. Keep checking to ensure it does not get overcooked. Once done, drain and put under cold water to stop from cooking further. For the sauce, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. Add garlic and chilli flakes. When the garlic gets a stlightly brown tinge, add the boiled and peeled tomatoes with a pinch of salt. Cover and cook till the tomatoes are of sauce consistency. Add tomato sauce at this stage, in case you like the pasta a little sweet. Once the sauce is slightly thick, add the cooked pasta to this mixture with a half a teaspoon of dried or fresh basil.
For the eggplant, I simply hold it over the gas stove for a minute till the skin thickens and can be pulled off easily. Once done, I remove the skin and cut them in to large, round slices. Put these slices in cold water and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Remove, pat dry and sprinkle some salt and oregano. Drizzle olive oil on an oven tray or a plate that can be put in to the oven. Line the eggplant slices. This goes in to the oven for about 30-40 minutes at 200 degree temperature. Once done, spread the eggplants on a serving plate and pour the heavenly pasta on to the bed of eggplants. Garnish with some green or black olives and you are ready to go 🙂