Necessity is the mother of invention, they say. This Recipe came out of the dire necessity to empty my pantry. Going to India for a couple of months , you see.(Yay for me!!!).
Opened the pantry,have some elbow macaroni but no cheese, so cant go for the Mac n' Cheese.Peek into the freezer, do have some Parmesan cheese and frozen spinach that have to be consumed . Peek into the refrigerator, some tomatoes and eggplant that have to used pretty soon or else have to be dumped. Decided to put everything into one dish and see what comes up. And, Lo and behold, a pasta dish that can easily become a staple in our everyday food. But only if I can remember what I put into it.Which is why , I am typing as I eat my pasta fusion.Pardon any sauce splatters and typo errors….
Heated some oil in a pan,threw in onion and garlic, sauteed till soft. Hmmm..opened the spice cabinet (yes , I have a cabinet full of spices.Whole spices, powdered spices, ready-made spice mixes, homemade spice mixes, dried herbs..the whole lot. will do a post on them some time),some red chilli powder, some goda masala,some fennel seeds. Stir.Added veggies, tomato puree. In goes Italian Seasoning,salt, pepper and the pasta. Topped with Parmesan. Ah..good .I remember everything. Now, to quantify the ingredients and write a proper recipe.
1 cup elbow macaroni (or any pasta you prefer)
1/2 cup frozen spinach defrosted (or 8-10 spinach leaves, chopped)
1/2 cup chopped eggplant
1 medium tomato chopped
1 medium onion chopped
4 tbsp tomato puree
2 cloves garlic chopped finely
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp goda masala (or garam masala or any other spice mix you prefer)
1/8 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
salt, pepper to taste
Boil water.After it comes to a boil, add salt (make the water as salty as sea water) and pasta. Meanwhile,heat oil in a pan, add onion and garlic and cook till translucent.Add red chilli powder, goda masala and fennel seeds.saute for a minute.Add tomatoes, eggplant and spinach. Add a little of the water in which the pasta is cooking and cook till the eggplant is cooked through and the spinach has wilted. Drain the pasta, reserve the water. Add the pasta,Italian seasoning, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Mix till it all blends together and check for salt. If the salt seems less, add the water reserved from boiling the pasta. I do this for 2 reasons. First, we have already added a little of the salty water for cooking the veggies + tomato puree has salt to some extent and Parmesan cheese is salty. Second, it just seems a waste to put all that salt in the water and throw it away. If the salt seems more, add more tomato puree or boil some more pasta and put it in. I don't like my pasta drowning in tomato sauce, that's why i used just 4 tbsp of tomato puree. You can use more depending on taste.
Ta..da…delicious pasta is ready.