Wednesday, 27 August 2014


I'm very much a fan of the vegetarian lifestyle. I'm not one myself but going majorly veggie has helped me to lose a few stone. I do compensate the meat in my meals with a lot of Quorn however I know that a lot of vegetarians might not like Quorn so here is a spicy tomatoy rigatoni dish with big chunks of Aubergine as the "meat" of the dish. Sprinkle two types of cheese over the top and garnish with fresh basil and its so tasty I'm sure even the carnivores out there will be asking for more!

Few pointers for this recipe. Firstly the jalapeño. Now we all know they are spicy hot but I love a kick to my food which is why I used one but if you prefer a more milder chili heat replace it with 1-2 tsp of chili flakes or a bog standard deseeded red or green chili from the supermarket. Add in the amount of spice you like it's entirely up to you.

The cherry tomatoes are entirely optional too. I use them as I like chunky bits of tomato in my pasta sauces. This is why I use a tin of plum tomatoes too but a tin of chopped tomatoes will taste exactly the same so use whatever you had in your cupboards. 

Feel free to replace the rigatoni for any pasta you like. I would suggest a tubular pasta so they suck up the sauce nicely but again you can use whatever is in your kitchen. The same can go for the cheese, if you have some Parmesan or even a cheddar in your fridge grate some of that to finish if you don't have any pecorino or feta to hand. 1 tbsp of dried basil can replace the fresh leaves too if needed.

This recipe will give a healthy portion for two. Why not surprise someone tonight with a spicy treat?

Quornless Rigatoni

1 Aubergine (Cut Into Chunks)
1 Chopped Medium Onion
2 Grated Garlic Cloves
1 Finely Chopped Jalapeño 
5 Halved Cherry Tomatoes
400g Tin Plum Tomatoes
200g Rigatoni
Handful Chopped Fresh Basil Leaves
8 Large Shavings Pecorino
100g Feta

  1. Oil a large pan and on a medium/high heat throw in the Aubergine and fry until it starts to brown. Remove from the pan and drain on some kitchen roll and leave to one side.
  2. Oil the pan again if needed and on a medium heat, add in the onion and garlic and fry until the onion begins to go soft before adding in the jalapeno and both tomatoes. Break up the tomatoes with your spoon whilst stirring and bringing everything to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirringoccasionally. Use this time to get your rigatoni on the go, cooking as per packet instructions.
  4. After the 20 minutes simmering, add in the aubergine and the basil and bring back up to the boil before reducing to a simmer again for 5 minutes.
  5. After the five minutes I imagine your pasta will be ready. Drain it and chuck it into the sauce to coat all the pasta in the delicious tomatoy goodness. Remove the pan from the heat.
  6. Plate you your pasta between two and place the pecorino shavings on top before crumbling over the feta cheese.
There you have it, a delicious alternative to a Quorn pasta dish. It's super fresh and tasty and great if your looking for something a little different. Of course you can add some veggie meat or even beef mince if you really can't do without a bit of protein in your life.

If you want to reduce the calories then just use a light grating of cheese over the top. If you couldn't give a monkeys then serve with some garlictastic bread.

Why not? You deserve it!

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