After all, we were going out for drinks after work. To our little local bar the Banff. It sells a good amount of pizzas with simply, delicious toppings. And has happy hour. With cheap, cheap drinks. A variety of reds, with a local brew on tap. And tonight would be beer night. A jug if you please. The plan was to sit outside, sip away at our drinks and discuss the important things in life. Needs to be done at least once per week I would think.
So should we give in and get pizza with our drinks? Should we eat out for the nth time this week? Oh, the smell of olives and peperoni... The squid and chili topped pizza... The special of the week being mushrooms and mozzarella... How did we resist?
By looking forward to a quick-fix, super tasty eggplant pasta. But the vego/eggplant rule of our house has to pervade - cheese must be included for it to be a meal that satisfies the fella.
Tempted not to cook? Thinking of dialing for a pizza? Or perhaps strolling across the park to your local for a quick bite to eat? Make this instead. Then snuggle down in front of the telly with a cool drink and watch some trash (e.g. Make Me a Supermodel).
Eggplant and Tomato Pasta
Serves 3 - 4.
Splash of olive oil
1 large eggplant, diced into 1 cm cubes
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, smooshed and diced
400 g tin diced tomatoes
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
good pinch of salt and grind of pepper
bag spinach leaves
good amount of cheese, such as danish feta
200 g dried pasta of your choice
Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the eggplant and give it a good stir. Cook for around 8 minutes, until the eggplant is starting to soften. Add the onion and garlic, cook until they begin to brown a little. Add the tomatoes, vinegar and seasoning, reduce the heat and simmer for around 15-20 minutes. The sauce will thicken and flavours will intensify.
Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to the boil, add the pasta and cook for the recommended time. Once cooked perfectly, drain and set aside.
Just before combining the sauce and the pasta, tip in the packet of spinach leaves and crumble through the cheese. Serve warm, with optional chili if you so wish. Any thoughts of pizza will be banished for the evening.
Adapted from Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Dinners.
The Banff bar