Saturday, January 15, 2011

Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta

So, about that eggplant. I use eggplant nearly every week as part of a veggie pizza, but I always have about ½ an eggplant left over from that dish that goes bad before we use it. This got me thinking about what I could make with that leftover eggplant to stop throwing money in the garbage.

I generally use the big, fat eggplants for pizza, and this recipe uses Japanese eggplants (longer, more slender, and fewer seeds), so I still have an eggplant problem. I'm working on the finer points of a recipe to deal with it. Although, I do usually have leftover mushrooms from the pizza, and this recipe takes care of that.

This recipe was inspired by a dish Scoob ordered at The Charcuterie in Healdsburg, CA, where we stopped for lunch on our trip north for Christmas.

Eggplant pomodoro ingredients

Eggplant pomodoro pasta

Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes

    3 Japanese eggplants, quarter lengthwise, chop into ½" pieces
    3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    ½ onion, diced
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    ½ a portbello mushroom, diced
    1 carrot, diced
    1 Tbsp capers, minced
    12–15 Calamata olives, sliced
    1 14oz. can diced and peeled tomatoes, undrained
    juice and zest from ½ a lemon
    1 tsp Italian seasoning
    ½ cup water or broth
    crumbled feta
    dried or fresh parsley
    Kosher salt

  1. Cut eggplants, place in a colander and salt. Let stand 15–20 minutes to help leech out the bitterness. Meanwhile, do the rest of the chopping, dicing, and mincing.
  2. Start the water for your pasta and cook according to package directions. Heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant to the pan. The eggplant absorbs the oil quickly, so you'll want to keep them moving when you first add them to the skillet to help distribute the oil more evenly. Cook for 6–8 minutes, stirring often, until tender
  3. Remove eggplant from the skillet and set aside. Heat the remaining oil and saute the onions, garlic, carrot, and mushroom for 6–8 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is tender.
  4. Return eggplant to the skillet and add tomatoes, capers, olives, Italian seasoning, and water/broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add lemon juice and serve over pasta. Top each serving with feta, parsley, and lemon zest if desired.

This one is a keeper at our house. I made it again last night and added a zucchini (sliced into ¼" half-moons) with the onions to up the veg factor. I will say that I would wait until the onions are about halfway done to add the zucchini if I do that again. They got a little mushier than I would have liked.

Also, I discovered we were out of lemons last night. I didn't make this discovery until after I'd finished chopping everything. I substituted 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar for the lemon juice. And it was good.

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