Spinach Pappardelle with Aubergine & Smoked Chilli

Spinach Pappardelle with Aubergine & Smoked Chilli

His eyebrows raise just a fraction. I’ve just mentioned that I have another late night in the office and ask if he could whip up a quick dinner.

“Anything, really,” I say,  “Read the blog if you have to…”

Read the blog. That’s become our joke.

“How about pasta?”  he says. I look up. His eyes are alight like a kid on the eve of his birthday. Hope, expectation, breathless joy.

“Sure”, I shoot back, turning to face the computer screen and conceal my smirk.

I am married to a man who adores pasta. He craves Indian and Sri Lankan food. Demands Thai. But is besotted with pasta. If it’s smothered in nothing more than an arrabiata sauce, the man is in ecstasies. No blue cheese, fancy white sauces and complicated combinations. The very basic Italian flag variety- pasta (white), sauce (red), herbs (green) satisfies him. I guess life is complicated enough.

I made this vegetarian variety for our Meat Free meal the other day and used pappardelle or a broad fettuccine, which comes from the word pappare or “to gobble”. How utterly delightful is that? Combined with the always-popular-in-my-books aubergine, garlic and smoked chilli flakes, it’s simple to make but big on flavour.

And now when I need to work late and we’re having the what’s for dinner conversation and I want exactly this one, I can say, “Read the blog”.

I’m sure I can see him rolling his eyes as I glance at the reflection on my computer screen.


200-250 g Spinach Pappardelle (plain also fine, cooked according to package instructions)

1 T olive oil + extra

1/2 medium onion diced

1 medium aubergine, diced into 1 cm size cubes, roughly

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

400g can chopped and peeled tomatoes (or fresh)

1 & 1/2 cup water

2 tsp smoked chilli flakes* (adjust to preference)

5 spring onions, snipped

smoked or ordinary salt, to taste

*available at select delis. Use paprika or smoked paprika as substitutes


Heat pan on stove to medium and add oil and fry onions for 4 minutes, turning.

Add aubergine and toss. Add another tablespoon or two of olive oil. Aubergine are very ‘thirsty’ vegetables. If you add

Cook for 8 minutes or so, turning until they soften.

Add garlic and smoked chilli and cook a further minute

Add tomato and water and mix. Cook down for 10-12 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Once thickened slightly, turn down the heat to low.

Add spring onions and serve over pappardelle immediately.

Serve with shavings of parmesan cheese if you prefer.

Print pagePDF page
By |2017-05-08T13:03:12+00:00June 21st, 2011|Food, Recipe Index, Recipes|17 Comments


  1. polkadotcupcake June 22, 2011 at 8:13 am - Reply

    Ishay, I just love how your writing style is changing at the moment! it was always good, but it’s really, really improving just lately.. the plate to page girls really know what they’re doing, hey? Well done you! and on a side note, don’t you love it when the hubs cooks? so rare, but so appreciated! This looks divine, i must crack out the pappardelle..

    • Ishay June 22, 2011 at 2:41 pm - Reply

      Hi Polka. Thank you. I’m having fun with the writing and enjoying the different styles. Yes, the plate2page girls rock! Also was a brilliant, fun and very generous group- the ideal environment to learn in. Enjoy the risotto tonight!

  2. arthi June 22, 2011 at 10:35 am - Reply

    Ishay its so my kinds pasta…We are similar that way then..I simply love pastas…and can eat it everyday!Will surely try yr recipe..sounds delicious…I also make one similar but more a ratatouille pasta!

    • Ishay June 22, 2011 at 2:42 pm - Reply

      ooh, rataouille! Thanks, hope you try it 🙂

  3. Móna Wise June 22, 2011 at 11:34 am - Reply

    I have a pasta-lovin hubby too. He would eat it every day, every way. I love the meatless recipe and we have a lot of summer squash blooming in the garden right now so will see if I can incorporate it in to our dining plans. Thanks Ishay…xxx

    • Ishay June 22, 2011 at 3:12 pm - Reply

      Hi Mona. Can’t beat having the produce coming from your own garden. I bet the Chef has a few simple pasta recipes he can share with husb? 🙂

  4. janice tripepi June 22, 2011 at 11:59 am - Reply

    Oh my heavens darling this looks devine!! Love love love the smoked chilli addition! I haven’t ever seen them … Smoking Shed??? My hubby would just love this pasta buonissima! xxxx

    • Ishay June 22, 2011 at 3:14 pm - Reply

      Hi Jan. Smoking Shed is no longer- but I have some old stock, sold at Giovannis too. Try the food delis, I spotted em in a few in Europe too. Thanks girl! x

  5. PinkPolkaDot June 22, 2011 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    What a fabulous dish! I am sooooo into making my own pasta so I will have to try this!

  6. Kristy June 22, 2011 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    Beautiful styling and wonderful recipe

  7. Ming-Cheau Lin June 25, 2011 at 10:00 am - Reply

    Such a sweet story of you and J! Ever since I started helping out at Oded’s Kitchen I started enjoing aubergine, but STILL can’t brave myself to actually use it in a recipe. This looks like something I could try 🙂

    • Ishay June 28, 2011 at 4:25 pm - Reply

      Thank you Ming. I say, give your J a surprise and try it!

  8. Vanie June 27, 2011 at 8:46 am - Reply

    Love this dish, as you know, most days are meat free for me. Growing up we never eat aubgergines, as dad is allergic to them, but once away from home, I tried it, and I am hooked! Can also try roasting the aubgergine over the gas burner for a smoky taste too.

    • Ishay June 28, 2011 at 4:27 pm - Reply

      Love them too. I’m sure you remember the baby brinjal pickles back home? Such a long time since I had some. Thanks for the tips Cheffy- must gather wits to try that aubergine over open flame thingy.

  9. Jeanne @ CookSister! June 28, 2011 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    Hey gorgeous! Thrilled to hear that you got so much out of the writing workshops at Plate 2 Page!! It really is fun once you let go and try stuff 🙂 Also…. I don’t know how to break this to you but I think we are married to the same man. Left to his own devices N would subsist purely on pasta with Arrabiata sauce and the occasional braai ;o)

    • Ishay June 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm - Reply

      Hello Jeanne. The similarities- my goodness!
      You ladies have talent, passion and a desire to share and honestly, I couldn’t be more delighted that I got over myself (thanks for the encouragement)and joined you all at P2P.
      Oh, and speaking of braai, been a long while this side! (my kingdom for a charred lamb chop!) 😉

  10. […] of loving people through food and shares both recipes that come from her heart (check out her spinach pappardelle with aubergine and smoked chilli) and some of her jet-setting adventures (she recently met one of the greatest chefs […]

Leave A Comment