Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta


     Whoa...it's the end of May already!  Hardly time to post about the veggie of the month, eggplant.  Picking a "new" fruit/veggie this month was hard, as I like nearly all of the in-season veggies from the Cottage Industrialist's produce calendar.  Except I've never had rhubarb and I've never cooked with eggplant.  It's nearly impossible to find a rhubarb dish that isn't a dessert, so I went with eggplant.  I've nothing against desserts but I wanted to find a recipe that I could incorporate into the meal rotation...and I don't typically eat dessert.

     I was pleasantly surprised to find that eggplant is easy to work with and easy to cook!  Unlike butternut squash and sweet potatoes; I love both of those veggies but cutting them takes serious muscle.  I'd also read stories on the internet that eggplant could be bitter...I must have picked a lucky eggplant (or a lucky recipe that simply works with any natural bitterness) because I didn't detect any bitterness at all.  In fact, I thought the eggplant cut, cooked, and tasted like squash.

     If you like olives and capers then this dish is most definitely for you!  This is a lovely meal, with layers of flavors and textures.  Definitely use a good extra virgin olive oil, if you have one.  It will shine in this dish.

(Sorry for the picture quality...I forgot to set up additional lighting.)


Eggplant Pomodoro
From Eatingwell.com
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 tbsp extra virgin olive-oil
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 plum tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup olives
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 teaspoons capers, rinsed
3/4 tsp coarse Kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional--I skipped this but then I'm a spice wimp)
12oz whole-wheat pasta (I used homemade whole-wheat fettucine.  A shorter, stouter pasta would be better, such as macaroni.)

Directions:

1. Cook the pasta according the directions the box.  Drain, rinse in cool water and set aside.

2. Chop the olives and set aside.

3. Heat oil in a large non-stick pan.  Add the eggplant and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook about another minute, until it is fragrant.  Add the diced tomatoes, olives, vinegar, and capers.  Add the black pepper and crushed red pepper, if using.  Stir to combine everything and cook until the tomatoes release their juices, about 5-7 minutes more.  Taste.  Add additional pepper and salt if needed.

4. Remove the eggplant mixture from the pan and ladle over the pasta.  Mix well and serve.

Nutrition Information:
Per serving: 282 calories; 7 g fat ( 1 g sat , 5 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 50 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 10 g protein; 11 g fiber; 467 mg sodium; 416 mg potassium.

2 comments:

  1. I love eggplant,and I've never had a problem with the bitterness. Maybe once or twice in my entire life? Maybe some are more sensitive to bitterness, as we have varying sensitivities to crushed red pepper. ;-)

    The rhubarb is interesting. I think the reason it goes so well with desserts is that it's very tart. Tart - at least to western palates - does not seem to go well with savoury. I definitely love it as a dessert because I love tart stuff!

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  2. Beverly,
    Thanks for the info about eggplant and rhubarb. I am now an eggplant lover! Perhaps I'll make a rhubarb dessert for my next potluck : )

    Cheers,
    Kim

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