Quick Pasta with Aubergine and Ham

After making fried aubergines the other day, I still had one left in the fridge and I also kept the peeled skin from the 3 aubergines for the fried recipe, they are an excellent source of fibre. With some prosciutto in the fridge I needed to finish, I came up with this dish, we could call it pasta with leftovers really. It’s budget friendly as well, certainly under 5 euros, but most important it’s very tasty AND so quick and easy. I don’t have enough time to be able to spend hours in the kitchen, so my recipes need to be easy and simple but still be healthy, tasty and filling. If you are short of time but have a hungry crowd to feed then this  is the right recipe for you: an added bonus is that you don’t really recognize the vegetables, so with a little luck even the children will enjoy it. I leave you now to this easy pasta let me know if you’ll make it.

INGREDIENTS for 4 people:
- 500gr bow pasta (farfalle)
- 1 large aubergine cut in cubes (or use leftovers from other recipes)
- 200 gr of ham or prosciutto, chopped
- salt
- olive oil
- parsley washed and chopped

METHOD:
1) bring to the boil a pot of water, add the pasta and salt, and cook according to the instructions

2) while the pasta cooks, in a frying pan heat some oil, when it's hot add the aubergine and ham and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid.


3) when the aubergine is soft turn off the heat

4) once the pasta is al dente reserve some of the cooking water and drain the pasta. Add it to the frying pan together with some of the reserved water but not too much you don't want it "wet"

5) finally add parsley and some more olive oil, stir well and serve

Enjoy!

Golden fried Aubergines – Eggplants

This recipe is so simple and cheap, and yet so yummy. In the South of Italy it’s called “Indorate e fritte”, my aunts  make them every other day.
It’s very versatile: you can eat the fried aubergines on their own with a mixed salad, or in a bun, as vegetarian Burgers. They are great used to make “parmigiana” – aubergine pie. Finally, you can cut them small and serve them as nibbles on a little cracker. We like to give them to the children as a snack, as a healthy option instead of  bought chips. The choice is yours, so I leave you to this great recipe. Do let me know if you like it!
INGREDIENTS:
3 aubergines
3 eggs
2 spoonful of grated parmesan cheese
a bowl of plain flour
salt
Olive oil
METHOD:
1) peel the aubergines and slice them thinly (keep the skin and use it for pasta)
3) gently squeeze the aubergines, toss them in flour
4) beat the eggs and season with the cheese and dip in the egg mixture
5) heat abundant oil in a large frying pan, and fry the aubergine slices on both sides, they cook really quickly, so make sure u take them out when they are just golden and put them on a plate covered with kitchen paper for excess oil.
The quickest way to do this is to prepare all the slices in flour first, and put them in egg, before starting frying. Eat them really hot.
Enjoy!

Quick Pasta with beans (Pasta e fagioli)

Pasta with beans is a very old and traditional Italian recipe. It’s a rustic, peasant dish, poor but incredibly tasty. There are many variations of this dish, depending on the geographic area: the recipe I am sharing now is originally from Campania, in the South of Italy.

The traditional recipe requires the use of dry beans, left to soak overnight, and then cooked on the stove for an hour and a half. Unfortunately, I find it very hard to be so organized as to actually prepare the beans the night before, so this is my shortcut for those times in which I feel like eating a rustic, fulfilling, healthy pasta, but I am short on time: I use tinned beans, and I cut out the veggies!

This pasta makes also a great soup, especially if you use smaller pasta shape, it’s very budget friendly, AND it only uses one pot, a win/win really!

I will soon post also the traditional recipe of this dish, but for the moment I leave you to this super quick pasta with beans. If you try it let me know if you like it.

Enjoy!

Tip: if you use rosemary, it’s worth buying fresh, better even if you have it in your garden. You can always freeze what you don’t’ use. I find dry rosemary doesn’t have much flavour, you end up using more of it.

Ingredients for 4 people:

350 gr Pasta Shell

1 tin cooked beans

Salt

A good dash of olive oil

A sprig of rosemary (optional)

chilli or pepper (optional)

Method . Cooking time 10 mins.

1) Empty the content of the tin of beans in a large pot, add some boiling water, salt, chilli and rosemary if using.

2)  When the water is back to the boil add the pasta, make sure the water covers all the pasta

3) When the pasta is cooked, drain excess water if you prefer it more “dry”, or leave it as it is for a soup version.

4) Add a very generous dash of olive oil, better if extra virgin

Pasta with beans soup

5) Dish out and enjoy.

Welcome to AmarenaTree

Here at AmarenaTree, we love Amarene (sour cherries) fruit…… unsurprisingly so!

Whether  you prefer sour cherries fresh, or stewed with sugar and a spoonful of water, or sprinkled with sugar and left under the sun to mature, Amarene are a wonderful, versatile fruit.

Truth is we love all food….well, most of anyway, and we will share our most loved recipes.

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