This is a lovely dish, that came from Waitrose, I have modified it so that rather than using the oven, I am cooking it in my Ninja Air-fryer.
- 250g of Penne or any pasta
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Aubergine, cubed
- 1 Red Onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano or dried basil
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
- 250ml Double Cream
- 80g mozzarella, ready-grated or from a ball
- ¼ x 260g pack Essential Spinach, washed
- 50g Panko Breadcrumbs (or homemade dried crumbs)
- 30g Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
If you were using an oven you would need to preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6, but as we are using a Ninja, we can skip this step.
Cook your pasta in a large pan of salted, boiling water for 10 minutes.
In a Wok, or frying pan heat 1 tbsp oil and then add the aubergine (eggplant) and sauté over a medium-high heat until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes, the remove and places them on a dish while you move onto the next step.
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in the same pan and add the onion. Sauté over a medium heat for about 3-4 minutes until softened and starting to brown.
Add the garlic, salt and dried oregano or basil and cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in the chilli flakes, tomatoes and a splash of water
Return the aubergine to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes over a low heat.
Add the cream and remove from the heat.
Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the mozzarella, spinach, and plenty of black pepper.
Mix well (the raw spinach will quickly wilt into the pasta) and spread out evenly in the pan.
Remove the sauce to you oven proof dishes or dish
Scatter the panko evenly over the pasta and sprinkle the parmesan on top.
Drizzle with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and bake at 180 for 15 minutes, until the topping is golden and crunchy.
Leave for 5 minutes before serving with a crispy green salad.