Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pasta with Roasted Eggplant Sauce

I've discussed my eggplant aversion before. I will NOT be defeated! So here's another go-round!

This recipe is from the first 30 Minute Meals cookbook, before Rachael started speaking in EVOOs. This cookbook is one of my favorites, and has some great pasta dishes and make-your-own-takeout.

Pasta with Roasted Eggplant Sauce
recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray, from 30 Minute Meals cookbook

1 medium eggplant, 1 to 1 1/2 pounds
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, popped from skin
a handful chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (used a smaller amount of dried)
coarse salt and black pepper, to taste
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 pound pasta, cooked al dente

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut several slits in the skin of one side of the eggplant. Place whole eggplant with slit side up directly on an oven rack on the middle shelf. cook for 15 minutes. While eggplant is roasting, cook pasta. Remove eggplant and let stand on counter for 5 minutes

Heat olive oil and garlic in a pan until garlic speaks. Hold the whole cooked eggplant over the top of a food processor or blender. Hold the stem of eggplant in one hand and slide a paring knife under sections of the skin. Scrap off the flesh of the eggplant, cutting it loose from the stem and let it drop in the processor or blender. Add the garlic, oil, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

If you stop here, this eggplant puree makes a wonderful dip for vegetables or spread for garlic toasts.

To prepare the sauce, combine eggplant puree with crushed tomatoes in a saucepan over medium heat until warmed through. This recipe will provide enough sauce for up to 1 pound of your favorite-shaped pasta.

The verdict?
If the only thing that came from the recipe was the fantastic recipe for Roasted Eggplant Puree, then it's totally worth it. It had a great garlic undertone, with a earthly texture. I love dips that don't have cream cheese or sour cream in them. I will definitely be making the dip the next time I get an eggplant. After tasting the puree, I was super pumped for the pasta.

I heated the sauce, then tossed it with a pound of rigatoni. Why rigatoni? Because my husband wasn't around and he only will eat whole wheat pasta, so more wonderfully white pasta for me, and also because it was the shape my son picked out of the ENTIRE pasta aisle. It really didn't help him eat any more of it, but it made him feel really special.

I thought it was a great pasta dish, although my son pushed off the sauce to eat the noodles (typically toddler!) but I would give it another try soon! It felt very Deceptively Delicious, because even though the sauce had a little twist of flavor, it still tasted very much like sauce and noodles. Different enough to make the recipe-trying momma happy, similar enough to get the family to eat it!

Easy Cooking | Simple Cooking 

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