07 May 2012

DIY - A healthy pasta dinner

Starter: Pan-fried haloumi, baby spinach, vine tomato and avocado salad

Main: Spelt (rice) penne with a roasted aubergine and red pepper sauce


Spelt: This ancient grain traces back to early Europe, before wheat hybrids appeared. It's also considered by some to be a subspecies of common wheat. Nonetheless, there is nothing common about the taste of spelt; its nutty, rich flavor and high nutritional value, make it an excellent alternative to whole wheat pasta. People who are allergic to wheat probably cannot tolerate spelt and should avoid it, although some wheat-intolerant people say that they are able to tolerate spelt. As a gluten-free alternative try rice penne which you can find in most health stores nowadays (try Wholefoods)

Start to finish: 35 minutes | Serves: 2-4

You'll need:
half a bag of spelt penne 
3 large aubergines
2 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 red bell peppers
10 campary tomatoes
olive oil
2 packs of haloumi cheese

a bag of baby spinach
a large ripe avocado

In a medium pot cook the penne for about 15 mins. I like mine Al dente (firm but not hard). After it's cooked, drain, ass some olive oil, a pinch of salt and put aside.

For your main you'll need 3-4 red bell peppers, 3 large aubergines
(eggplants for those across the pond),
2 garlic cloves, minced and spelt or rice penne.
Pierce eggplant several times with the tip of a sharp knife. Place in uncovered baking dish, and roast for about 30 mins, or until aubergine is fragrant and collapses easily with a squeeze. Slice in half, let cool. Scoop out meat and coarsely chop.

Add caption

Peel the peppers, and mix them with the bakes aubergine ragu. Gently mash them together. Add the minced garlic, a pinch of salt and some olive oil.

Penne sauce - I like mine with chunky pieces, that's why I
rarely use a food processor.

Mix the mashed veggies and garlic with the cooked penne.
Alternatively add some grated  Parmigiano.
And here you have it! Unpretentious, inexpensive and delicious Italian maincourse
For the salad - mix the spinach leaves with chopped vine tomatoes and avocado,
add some cider or balsamic  vinegar and olive oil.
I don't usually add any salt as the haloumi is quite salty already

While the aubergine and peppers are roasting  grill the haloumi slices in a dry frying pan over medium heat,  until they are lightly browned. Set aside.

Place the grilled haloumi pieces on top of your raw salad mix and
here you have it: A Grilled haloumi salad with spinach,
avocado and campary tomatoes


London Spa Girl x

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