Traditional heavy pasta gets a wholefoods makeover with this vibrant, vegan summer dish from Kelly Gibney.
1 large eggplant, cubed
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine (for a list of vegan NZ wines click here)
2 tins tomatoes
large handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
sea salt and cracked pepper
4 x zucchini (1 per person)
1/2 cup raw or roasted macadamia nuts
Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over a medium heat. Add eggplant, fennel seeds and garlic. Sauté for 15 minutes minutes until very tender, adding a splash of water if the pan becomes too dry. Add the red wine and tomatoes and reduce the heat slightly. Simmer for 45 - 60 minutes until the sauce has thickened and darkened. Add a large handful of roughly chopped basil and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper as desired.
Use a spiraliser to create 'noodles' with the zucchini. Alternatively you can use a vegetable peeler to make thin ribbons that also make an excellent pasta alternative. Move the peeler around the zucchini until you’ve used all of the vegetable apart from the seedy core. You can choose to leave the zucchini pasta completely raw or you can quickly toss the zucchini in a hot sauté pan for 30 seconds with a generous glug of olive oil.
To serve: Place your zucchini 'pasta' in a bowl. Spoon the hot eggplant sauce over the top. Use a microplane or very fine grater to make thin shavings of the macadamia nuts. Sprinkle these on top and garnish with extra fresh basil as desired.