Lentil and Eggplant Pasta with Rosemary

This is just a simple and quick lunch pasta I whipped up, but it came out surprisingly nicely for two reasons I suppose. Firstly, I cut the eggplant in small cubes and fried it until very brown and soft, which added a lot of flavor, and a lovely texture contrast to the lentils. Secondly, I used fresh rosemary – it has so much more flavor than its dried counterpart!

This isn’t the most visually pleasing dish even with the decorative sprig of rosemary, but the taste will more than compensate for the plain looks. Heikki took his half to work on the next day, and says it was very good re-heated as well. Cooking this took me about 25 minutes from start to finish, including the cooking time for lentils.

The Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 5 dl whole wheat fusilli
  • 300 g eggplant (1 medium)
  • 1 and 1/2 dl green lentils (plus 1 bay leaf for cooking)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 dl fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • nutritional yeast for sprinkling (optional)

The first thing I did was to rinse the lentils. Then I placed them in a small sauce pan with plenty of cooking water and a bay leaf, and let them simmer until soft but still firm.

Now, I cut the eggplant in small cubes, and heated a non-stick frying pan with about half a tablespoon of the olive oil. Eggplant will absorb any amount of olive oil, so there’s no point adding too much. Then I started frying the eggplant, on medium-high heat, stirring every now and then to ensure even browning.

I chopped the rosemary, squeezed the lemon juice, and grated the garlic, and mixed all these together. Then I cooked a large pot of water for the pasta, and added it in the pot when the lentils had cooked for about 10 minutes so that they’d be ready at about the same time.

When the lentils were done (which only took 15 minutes to my surprise), I rinsed them, removed the bay leaf, and added them to the frying pan with about two thirds of the lemon-garlic-rosemary mix. I added some salt at this point as well, and continued frying for about 3 minutes, stirring all the time. Finally, I added the capers, and removed the pan from heat.

When the pasta was cooked, I drained it, and combined it in the cooking pot with the rest of the lemon, garlic, and rosemary, and half a tablespoon of olive oil. After I plated the dish I sprinkled it with some nutritional yeast, and ground a healthy amount of black pepper over my portion.