Large pinch of saffron threads
2 cups (450ml / 16 fl oz) vegan stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
1 1/2 cups (350g / 12 oz) aubergine, diced
1 large red pepper, deseeded and chopped
400g (14 oz) canned chopped tomatoes with garlic
1 tsp ground cinnamon
5/8 cup (30g / 1 oz) fresh coriander, roughly chopped
400g (14 oz) canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups (280g / 10 oz) vegan dried penne
Salt and pepper
Harissa or chilli sauce, to serve
Toast saffron threads in a dry frying pan set over a medium heat for 20–30 seconds. Place in a small bowl and crumble with your fingers. Add 2 tablespoons of the hot stock and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and fry for 5–6 minutes. Add the cumin and fry for a further 20–30 seconds, then stir in the aubergine, red pepper, tomatoes, cinnamon, coriander stalks, saffron liquid and remaining stock. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the chickpeas to the saucepan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for a further 5 minutes, removing the lid to reduce and thicken the sauce if necessary.
Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the pasta, return to the boil and cook for 8–10 minutes, or until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain and transfer to a warmed serving bowl. Add the sauce and half the coriander leaves, then toss. Garnish with the remaining coriander and serve immediately with the harissa or chilli sauce.