During my teenage years when, like most teenagers, I was obsessing about my weight, I avoided eating pasta as I was convinced that it was fattening. It wasn’t until I fell in love with cooking many years later, that I realised that it’s a complete misconception and it very much depends how you cook it or what you have with it. If you have your pasta bathed in cream and butter, then yes, you should probably only eat it once in a while, but it’s perfectly possible to make a tasty yet light pasta dish and enjoy it on a more regular basis. In fact, it turned out that Greek Cosmopolitan has done a round-up of healthy pasta dishes and featured our simple griddled courgettes spaghetti in it. We were very pleased about that and since we eat pasta a lot, we wanted to share another light pasta idea with you today.
Pasta alla Norma is another fine example of a light pasta dish. This pasta hails from hot Sicily so it seemed appropriate to make it on a hot summer day. Especially as there is a strong historical connection between Sicily and Greece and so all the produce this pasta uses happen to be Greek staples too. It uses one of my favourite vegetables – aubergines, ripe tomatoes, fresh basil and a dash of fiery chilli. I don’t know why I love aubergines so much as, like some haters point out, they have no real flavour. To me their versatility is what makes them so special – they take on other flavours easily and their firm, dense texture is very satisfying to eat. When I bought them for the first time, I was a bit apprehensive as I’ve been warned about their tendency to taste bitter. In order to eliminate this bitterness many people rub aubergine slices in salt (and rinse it off after an hour or so) before cooking. I must admit that I did forget to do that a few times and I’ve never come across any bitterness whatsoever. Apparently, these ‘mad apples’ (Europeans used to believe that their consumption would make you go insane – those crazy, Europeans, eh?) are now cultivated differently and there is no more bitterness.