Saturday, September 10, 2011

Roasted Eggplant with Garlic Pasta

Ever since I tasted baba ghanoush I've wanted to make some.  Last week I got an eggplant in my produce delivery, and that was my plan.  But, as I've never made anything with eggplant before, I thought I'd try roasting it first and see how that went.  Well, by then I had an idea for a pasta dish in my head.  I admit I was influenced by the desire to try some garlic a friend picked up at a garlic festival a few weeks ago.

Eggplant mixture
    1 large eggplant
    1 med onion
    Olive oil
    1 can diced tomatoes
    Salt, pepper to taste
Garlic pasta
    4 cloves garlic; minced, pressed or crushed
    1 lb. angel hair pasta
    1-2 tbsp butter
    Salt, pepper to taste
1.  Heat oven to 425° F.  Prepare a shallow pan with non-stick spray or parchment liner. 
2.  Wash eggplant.  Cut off top stem and bottom bump.  Slice at an angle into 1/4 inch slices.  Arrange the slices on the pan--try to not overlap them.
3.  Cut top stem and bottom roots off onion.  Peel off the outer thin layers.  Slice straight across  to get 1/4 inch wide rounds.  Separate the rings and arrange over the eggplant.
4.  Liberally sprinkle dried oregano and basil over onion and eggplant.  Drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil over the spices.
5.  Pour diced tomatoes over all, drizzle a bit more oil and season with salt and pepper.
6.  Roast in hot oven for 20 min.
7.  Mince garlic with a knife, press through a garlic press or crush with a mortar and pestle.
8.  Boil water with a sprinkle of salt, but only add pasta once it's to a rolling boil and only cook it as long as directions indicate.  (We used "fresh" angel hair that only needed to cook 45 seconds.  We had the water ready but didn't put pasta in until eggplant was done.)
9.  Once pasta is drained return to pot and mix in the minced/crushed garlic and butter.
10.  Serve eggplant mixture over pasta.

    Don't be turned off by the strange color of the eggplant.  It really is quite tasty.
  1. Use a big sharp knife for the eggplant.
  2. Use a garlic infused olive oil to add more flavor to the roasted eggplant.
  3. Crush garlic cloves with flat side of knife--this aids in peeling them. 
  4. Use an electric tea kettle to have boiled water ready to cook pasta.
  5. The butter in the pasta is to keep it from sticking.  You can use oil instead.
  6. Feel free to reduce the amount of oil to your taste.  The eggplant soaks it up easily so you may just want to drizzle after adding the tomatoes.
  7. I put the seasonings on before the tomatoes to make sure the eggplant got the flavor.
  8. You could also "roast" the veggies under a broiler, but keep your eye on it so they don't burn.
  9. I found the tomato wasn't enough for my taste.  I will use 2 cans next time.
  10. Add some parmesan or pecorino cheese over tomato.
  11. Baffling fact:  angel hair pasta should be cooked to a core temperature of 160° F.  No idea how you're supposed to check that.

1 comment:

  1. Could you dream up a stuffed peppers recipe? My end of season bell pepper harvest is more than bountiful. Possibly using turkey? I have to keep cholesterol controlled.