Sunday, January 13, 2013

Eggplant Pasta

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I definitely enjoy pasta, but I like it best when there’s some texture to it – when it’s more than just pasta and sauce. Last January, I made a bread crumb and caper pasta that was quite delicious. It was from The Gourmet Cookbook, a gigantic tome from Ruth Reichl and the former editors for Gourmet magazine.  It has more than 1,000 recipes and is a great resource – it’s my go-to cookbook for recipe ideas.

Cover of "The Gourmet Cookbook: More than...

I decided to recreate the dish with a few additions. First, I roasted half an eggplant with just a bit of cooking spray to a) keep it from sticking and b) because eggplant is really absorbant and since there’s already 1/4 cup olive oil in the pasta sauce I wanted to minimize it here. 

Next I chopped my garlic (fresh from the garden – Andrew grew it last spring!), chopped a piece of bread for bread crumbs (you can also use store-bought for this), and got out my other ingredients.

Then I sautéed the garlic in olive oil, add chopped capers and bread crumbs, add boiled pasta, eggplant, tomato sauce and Parmesan, sprinkled with parsley and called it a night!  A quick and easy delicious pasta dinner.

The bowls are sitting on The Gourmet Cookbook – look how big that thing is! Enjoy!

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Eggplant Penne with Capers and Breadcrumbs

Yield: 4 servings

A delicious quick pasta meal with lots of texture.

Ingredients:

1 medium eggplant, chopped
10 oz. penne pasta (a little more than half a box)
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic
6 tablespoons capers, finely chopped
2/3 cup breadcrumbs (one finely chopped piece of whole grain bread or store bought)
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
fresh parsley, chopped, for sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread eggplant in a single layer on sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes until browned. Remove from oven.

Boil pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook until lightly golden. Do not burn! Add capers and breadcrumbs, and cook until breadcrumbs are golden brown. Add tomato sauce and eggplant; stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

When pasta is done, drain in colander and immediately add to skillet. (Don't drain well - you want there to be a bit of water still on the pasta to help thin the sauce.) Add Parmesan and toss well to combine. Divide portions into bowls, and sprinkle with parsley.

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