Butterflies Pasta in Tomato-Oregano Sauce with sprouted Soy Beans and roasted Eggplant

There are quite a few differences about the health benefits of Soy, and like there are ones who immediately connect Soy with wellness; there are also ones who see just the cons of it. Like with everything, Soy has both pros and cons and the thing is to try and find the balance and to take advantage of the pros but still being aware of the cons. The most important thing is, to my opinion, is not to completely rely on Soy. Namely don't to think that if you will eat every day Tofu you will get sufficient amount of protein for instance. It is important to combine the resources and to consume wisely.  And anyway, if you prefer not to use Soy for this dish, you can easily replace it with beans or with peas and so on.     

We love pasta! Especially maccheroni because it makes a real mess and making a mess is fun. But there is a nice advantage for using butterflies pasta (Farfalle). The big advantage of butterflies pasta is that during the cooking of the pasta, the edges become soft but the middle stays al dente and meaty. And besides it's fun also to play with the butterflies in the sauce.

The thing that creates a sort of perfection in this dish is the roasted eggplant, which rests softly on top of the pasta and keeps the butterflies from flying around the kitchen. A roasted eggplant has a flavor inexpressible in words and in this case it connects beautifully, flavor wise, with the soury tomatoes and texture wise with the crispiness of the soy beans and the meatiness of the pasta. Appearance wise, a roasted eggplant looks always tempting and yummy, let alone when he's just a short fork stab away.

The Ingredients : (depends on who you're asking but it's for about three or four servings)

500 gram whole grain butterflies pasta (Farfalle)
One fresh medium size eggplant
Two handfuls sprouted soy beans - or any other sprouted legumes you like (how and why)
Three fresh tomatoes
A few cloves of garlic
A bit tomato paste (make sure that it's just from tomatoes and free of all sorts of toxins)
Fresh oregano
A couple of fresh mint leaves
Olive oil
Sea salt

At first cook the pasta in salted water just until it softens up a bit but still crispy, because we will cook it some more later in the sauce. In the meantime sauté  the onion and garlic with some olive oil in a deep pan until they get a nice color. Chop the tomatoes and add them as well. After a few minutes add the soy beans and let it all cook a bit and the tomatoes to release some liquids. Of course during this time you should check constantly the pasta, so it's not getting too soft. If the pasta is ready strain it and let it rest a bit aside. (If it happens in an early stage of the process pour some cold water on it to stop it from cooking some more.)

During this time, when the tomatoes and the soy beans share experiences with the onion and garlic, heat the oven (in grill mode) to high heat and slice the eggplant into not too thin slices, so it would not burn easily, and not too thick, so it would cook also from the inside. Brush one side of them with some olive oil and add some salt and pepper. Put them in the oven, oiled side towards the grill, for about ten minutes.

In this time add a bit of the tomato paste with some water in the pan, stir and lower the heat. It's not supposed to be full with sauce but still a bit liquid.

After about ten minutes take the eggplant out of the oven, brush the other side with oil (no need for salt and pepper again) and put it back in the oven for a few more minutes. In this stage season what's in the pan and add some oregano leaves. Add the pasta as well and stir for a few minutes.

When it's all ready, put the pasta with all the good stuff on a plate, cover it with a nice slice of roasted eggplant, ad some chopped mint and drizzle a few drops of lemon on top. Enjoy!  


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