Monday friendly veggie pasta

There is something so comforting about a hearty pasta dish on a Monday night. It’s after the weekend, you’ve just finished up a long day, and you have no motivation to cook up anything fancy. Well, you’ve come to the right place because I have a recipe you can try! Not only is this recipe fast and easy, it’s also Monday friendly AND wallet friendly. To prepare for this dish, it cost me only €2.75 (approx 3 USD)*. To be quite frank, I’m on a pretty tight budget these days, and it has led me to be a lot more creative with my cooking. I also ask myself, ‘how can I make this meal cheap, healthy AND delicious?’. When choosing which veggies to add to this dish, I recommend looking at what is on sale or going to your local fruit & veg market. The one closest to me here in Amsterdam is the Ten Katemarket on Kinkerstraat. I can usually buy an eggplant + a zucchini for around a euro. That makes my wallet veeery happy haha.

Anyways, this recipe is definitely a good base recipe and I highly suggest playing around with it. I like making dishes like this at the beginning of the week because even after my boyfriend and I dig into it, there’s usually still enough left for at least two lunches! One for him and one for me.

*Price not including the herbs, chili flakes, onions, garlic and cheese that I already had at home.

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Monday friendly eggplant & zucchini pasta recipe

What you’ll need:

Penne pasta (I used the whole 500g bag)
1 x Eggplant diced
1 x Zucchini
Onion diced
Garlic diced
1 can diced tomatoes
Black olives (Kalamata olives would work too) sliced
Italian herbs seasoning (I eyeballed it, but I’d say a good tablespoon)
Chili flakes (to your liking)
Salt &  pepper (to your liking)
Cheese (optional)

How to make it:

  1. Pour pasta into a pot of salted boiling water. Cook until al dente, or if not, just shy of it. Reserve about 1/2 a cup of pasta water for the sauce.
  2. Now in a pot/wok or pan, heat olive oil and chili flakes over medium heat. You can also add in the garlic once it starts to get a little more fragrant. I prefer adding the garlic before it gets too hot so it doesn’t spray and pop everywhere! Once the rawness of the garlic starts to cook off, you can then add in the diced up onion andsauté until translucent.
  3. Add in the diced up zucchini + eggplant and cook down a little bit. Approximately 3-4 minutes on medium heat. But keep an eye on it as you don’t want it to get burnt. At this point, you can also season it with a little bit of salt & pepper.
  4. Once you see that the veggies have almost cooked through, add in the can of diced tomatoes. What I also like doing is adding a little bit of the starchy pasta water into the can and swirl it around to get the leftover tomato juices in the can. I then add in the rest of the pasta water.
  5. Add in the olives and season the sauce with a generous amount of salt & pepper and Italian herb seasoning. Don’t forget to taste and adjust accordingly. I forgot to and it wasn’t quite salty enough!
  6. Put a lid on it and let the eggplant and zucchini cook until tender. You don’t want it to completely waste away but you want it to start melting into the sauce and soaking in all that flavor. I’d say approximately 8 minutes on medium-low heat.
  7. Add in the pasta and continue cooking it, stirring often, for a few more minutes until the sauce coats the pasta nicely.
  8. (Optional) I decided to grate in some cheese. I used gouda because that was what we had in the fridge, but I’d say parmesan or mozzarella would work well too.

If you try this recipe and have any alterations of your own, I’d love to hear from you! Always open to some feedback and to learn more from my fellow food lovers! Also, don’t forget to click follow (or subscribe via e-mail for non-WordPress users) so you know when there’s a new post!

The chatty foodie,
over & out


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