Tag Archives: eggplant and pasta

Pasta Alla Norma

 

 

This past October we spent time in Sicily biking through various regions. The food in Sicily was definitely some of the best Italian Food I have ever had including mainland Italy. One of the mainstays was eggplant and I totally love eggplant and will eat it almost every which way it was prepared. This particular dish was always a favorite of mine and I decided to try to make it without frying the eggplant. It came out delicious and this is what I did. Of course if you’d like you can always fry up the eggplant and then add it to your sauce. This worked out very well.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant or 2 small ones

4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil– divided

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1/2 sweet onion–thinly sliced

3-4 garlic cloves

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes–I love the heat but you can always let people add this at the table if you prefer

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 box –1 lb. bite size dry pasta, I love Rigatoni here but Penne works well as well as any small bite size macaroni

Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

Cut unpeeled eggplant into 1″ cubes — First cut into thick slices and then cut into 4 pieces –you can achieve this quickly by cutting 3 slices and then with a sharp knife cut slices into 4 pieces — Put cubes into a bowl and sprinkle with 1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil some red pepper and Kosher Salt and Pepper mix up and spread on a sprayed baking sheet and place in oven at preheated 400 degree oven for approximately 30-40 minutes. You’ll want the eggplant softened but not mushy.

In a large saute pan heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil over medium heat and saute the sliced onion until tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so. You can sprinkle onion with a little kosher salt here as well.

Stir in the 28 oz of crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add a little red pepper here, oregano and season with salt and pepper to your liking. It will take about 30 minutes for sauce to really develop and I then thinned it down by adding a little water . Add 1/2 cup at a time– I added a few times during the cooking process — just don’t add too much water at any given time. You can also throw in a little red wine to thin out which I’ve been known to do.

While the sauce is cooking I cooked my pasta al dente. I used some of the pasta water to thin out sauce at the end.

When eggplant is finished cooking add to the sauce, toss well to coat the eggplant and allow it to sit in sauce for a little bit ( app. 10 minutes or more )

I plated up my pasta and added sauce to each individual bowl and served with grated Parmesan Cheese. Also would be delicious with Ricotta Salata sprinkled on top of Pasta in place of Parmesan Cheese.

*you can add pasta to your pan if your pan is large enough to hold it all.

Should serve 4 very nicely

Eggplant and Tomato with or without Pasta

photo 5 (11) photo 5 (12) photo 4 (12) photo 3 (16) photo 5 (13)Another wonderful inspiration from Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook “The Can’t Cookbook”,  even though I can cook there are so many great and easy recipes in this book. This was certainly one of them. I served over pasta (see photos) and it is so easy! Everyone gets nervous about cooking eggplant and I really am not sure why that is, well this will cure you of that fear if you have it. You can just make this as a side dish without the pasta but any reason to eat pasta in this house is a good one.

Eggplants should be smooth-skinned, evenly firm and without soft spots. I bought organic ,  when  I’m eating the peel or the skin I  try to buy organic, same goes for tomatoes.

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant or 2 small ones

4 cloves garlic

1 pint cherry or grape type tomatoes

6 sprigs fresh thyme

1/3 cup olive oil

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

*1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper ( optional )

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the eggplant and the tomatoes. Cut off and discard the stem. Cut the eggplant into 1 inch thick round pieces. Stack 2 rounds, then slice  rounds 2 x and 2x across to make 1″ cubes. ( see photos). Smash the 4 garlic cloves with the back of large knife. Prepare baking dish by spraying lightly with Pam spray.

Place the eggplant , garlic, tomatoes, and thyme in baking dish.  Sprinkle salt , pepper and crushed red pepper if you’re using it. With clean hands toss together until the eggplant is coated with olive oil and don’t worry if it’s over-crowded. It will break down and there will be plenty of room.

Roast until the eggplant is really soft and tender. I roasted for an hour and gave it a stir and was good to go.

I served over pasta but you certainly don’t have to have pasta,  you can eat this just as is. If you’re serving over pasta you may want to drizzle a little more olive oil into the eggplant and tomato mixture–just for a little more saucier consistency.

Thanks again Jessica .

Veal and Eggplant Pasta

IMG_3067IMG_3070 (3)photo 3 (20)I simply love pasta and am convinced that no matter how it is prepared I will like it. Almost no way is a bad way. This particular pasta dish was just delicious and hearty and I’m passing it on to you. I sort of winged my way through it but wrote down key ingredients and key measurements. I know some people have moral objections to eating veal so maybe you can substitute with ground turkey. It will have a totally different flavor but am sure it will taste just fine.  I happen to love the taste of ground veal in this pasta and although Joel picked out every last piece of eggplant he still loved it!

Ingredients:

1 medium eggplant, a nice firm eggplant with smooth skin, evenly firm, and no real soft spots.

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2 lbs. ground veal

10 – 12 leaves fresh sage, thinly sliced

pinch of ground nutmeg or if you have fresh nutmeg a few grates is perfect (this adds a nice punch of flavor)

1 small onion , finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1/3 cup half and half

1 lb. pasta noodle like ziti, penne, any sturdy cut pasta noodle

Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions:

Peel part of the skin off the eggplant in strips with vegetable peeler, you do this the long way, cutting off and discarding the very top of eggplant ( the stem side) Leave about 1/2 the peel on and 1/2 off. Slice and dice the eggplant and then sprinkle with kosher salt and let drain on a few paper towels while you continue prepping. I like the flavor of some peel and it keeps eggplant from becoming too mushy.

In a Dutch oven or large deep skillet, heat the olive oil, melt in the butter and over medium heat add the veal and cook , breaking up with a wooden spoon. Veal should be lightly browned , should take about 5 minutes or so. Season with Salt and Pepper, add the sage and nutmeg. Increase the heat to medium-high: stir in the onion, garlic and eggplant. Partially cover the pan and cook, stirring often until the vegetables soften, about 10 minutes or so.

Add the tomato paste, stir for a couple of minutes. Add the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add the stock and half and half. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce while the pasta cooks.

I let sauce simmer for a while, you can keep a little pasta water ( a cup or so) if you need to thin out sauce.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt to boiling water for pasta. Cook pasta according to the box directions for al dente. Drain, and reserve a cup or so of pasta water. You may need to stir some in to sauce if sauce seems to thick. Toss pasta with sauce, season to taste, and top with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Eggplant and Tomato with or without Pasta

photo 5 (11) photo 5 (12) photo 4 (12) photo 3 (16) photo 5 (13)Another wonderful inspiration from Jessica Seinfeld’s new cookbook “The Can’t Cookbook”,  even though I can cook there are so many great and easy recipes in this book. This was certainly one of them. I served over pasta (see photos) and it is so easy! Everyone gets nervous about cooking eggplant and I really am not sure why that is, well this will cure you of that fear if you have it. You can just make this as a side dish without the pasta but any reason to eat pasta in this house is a good one.

Eggplants should be smooth-skinned, evenly firm and without soft spots. I bought organic ,  when  I’m eating the peel or the skin I  try to buy organic, same goes for tomatoes.

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant or 2 small ones

4 cloves garlic

1 pint cherry or grape type tomatoes

6 sprigs fresh thyme

1/3 cup olive oil

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

*1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper ( optional )

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the eggplant and the tomatoes. Cut off and discard the stem. Cut the eggplant into 1 inch thick round pieces. Stack 2 rounds, then slice  rounds 2 x and 2x across to make 1″ cubes. ( see photos). Smash the 4 garlic cloves with the back of large knife. Prepare baking dish by spraying lightly with Pam spray.

Place the eggplant , garlic, tomatoes, and thyme in baking dish.  Sprinkle salt , pepper and crushed red pepper if you’re using it. With clean hands toss together until the eggplant is coated with olive oil and don’t worry if it’s over-crowded. It will break down and there will be plenty of room.

Roast until the eggplant is really soft and tender. I roasted for an hour and gave it a stir and was good to go.

I served over pasta but you certainly don’t have to have pasta,  you can eat this just as is. If you’re serving over pasta you may want to drizzle a little more olive oil into the eggplant and tomato mixture–just for a little more saucier consistency.

Thanks again Jessica .