second supper: aubergine and cannellini bean pasta.

This is not a complaint. It's merely the truth. I get home from work really, really late. Some days, I teach until 10 p.m., then have a ninety minute commute across town to get home. Some days, I work at a part-time job til 3 a.m. In both cases, I have to eat many hours beforehand and wade through hours of foodless pointlessness. Because everything - including the class I'm teaching - seems pointless when there isn't food involved.

Therein lies the dilemma. I need a second dinner. When I roll home at midnight, stomach grumbling, it's not enough to go to bed. It's not enough to have a slice of toast. So this has become the hour at which I really inhabit the kitchen, cooking a late-night supper and, usually, lunch for the next day. Sometimes it's cheese on toast, sometimes soup, sometimes pasta. Lately, it's been pasta. God - I love carbs. Eaten in bed, with an episode of Masterchef to lull me into a sleep-ready stupor. Like this dish, on my bedside table.

This aubergine and cannellini bean dish goes a long way - it's filling, incredibly simple for a late-night, exhausted mind, and carries on well into the next day for lunches. I make it with adorable tiny pasta shells, which always make me feel childlike. Everything is small and bean-sized, which my nocturnal mind finds amusing. Oh - and it tastes nice. Salty capers, warm chilli, sweet tomato. Pretty comforting at any time of day.


1 small aubergine, diced
1 tbsp. sundried tomato pesto
2 cups tinned chopped tomatoes
1 cup tinned cannellini beans, drained
1 tsp. capers, chopped
1 tsp. chili flakes
flat leaf parsley, chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper

150 grams shell pasta, cooked

1. In a large pan, over medium-high heat, warm some olive oil and fry off your aubergine. Once it has reduced in size, season to taste and add your pesto. A splash of water can help it come together. 2. Add your tinned tomatoes and beans and bring to a simmer. Stir in your capers and chilies, season, and continue to cook for about five minutes on medium heat. 3. Stir in your cooked pasta, season to taste, and serve with parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.
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