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Spaghetti with Roasted Eggplant Sauce

October 8, 2012

There have been several dessert posts coming out of the bb kitchen lately. Have you noticed? I need to tell you that this is Not all that we’ve been eating.  As a matter of fact, I had a beautiful globe eggplant sitting in my veggie bin waiting patiently for my attention.  What to do with it?

I grew up in a Bronx neighborhood called Pelham Parkway, where the demographics were 50% Jews and 50% Italians.  We were influenced by the smell emanating from Josie’s (Italian) kitchen next door, even though we probably didn’t realize it at the time.  From that kitchen came a dish that we eventually adopted as our own, eggplant parmigiana.  The breading, the frying, the layering, the massive amounts of cheese–delicious, but you get the picture.   Not a good shot of living to a ripe old age if we continue eating this way.  Is this a post for eggplant parmigiana?  A glance at the title of the post indicates, no, it is not.  I guess I digress.  But it definitely calls for a future post to be titled Eggplant Parmigiana Redux. I’ll add it to my to-do list.

My thoughts turned to making a healthful sauce featuring that eggplant, supported by a few friends from our garden.

Look what we just brought in from our container garden! (OK, not the garlic)

My thoughts turned to pasta.  I love pasta.  My Novio loves pasta.  But we’re coming out of a season involving mega-challah consumption, oodles of noodle kugel,  and buffet tables groaning under the weight of all the desserts.  Oy!
But wait!  A quick inventory of my pantry revealed – drum roll, please –  quinoa pasta!!  That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, quinoa occasionally can be spotted around town masquerading  as spaghetti (or macaroni, or rotelli). You heard me – I would never lie to you.  And here is the proof:

And now, back to our regularly scheduled eggplant. Roasting’s the thing. Yes, my lads and ladies, I beseech you to get out your roasting pans and preheat that oven!

Cut fat way down by roasting eggplant

Roasted Eggplant: homemade lean cuisine

Cut up the sweet peppers.

Choose the seasoning.

There are several high-quality spice companies that I’m fond of, and Pereg is up on that list.

Remember our eggplant? Cut into bite-sized pieces.

Sauteed veggies await eggplant

Eggplant? Present!

Spaghetti with Roasted Eggplant Sauce

Ingredients:

1 medium eggplant, sliced into thin rounds, about  1/8″ thick
olive oil, 1 T. for eggplant, 2 T. for sauce
1/2 lb. spaghetti (use any favorite pasta, I used quinoa spaghetti)
1 onion, chopped
1 small yellow or red pepper (or a combo), diced
1 med green pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1  and 1/2 t. Pereg meatball spice blend *see bb note below for spice blend details)
 

*bb Note: I happened upon this Israeli Mixed Spices for Meat Balls by Pereg. It’s a high quality line of spices and food products and this is a terrific combo. BUT you can easily come up with a reasonable facsimile at home. The only item that’s missing is rosebuds (really). Here’s how:

  • 1/2 t. ground ginger
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. white or black pepper
  • 1/8 t. allspice
  • 1/8 t.  of nutmeg
  • small pinch of cloves

Be sure to add lots of love, as the Pereg people do.

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400°.

Place sliced eggplant on greased baking sheet. Brush eggplant slices with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon), and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 15 minutes or until tender. After the eggplant slices cool a bit, give them a very rough dice (you want to see them with the pasta).

Meanwhile, boil water for pasta.

As water is brought to a boil and pasta cooks, saute veggies. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet. Saute chopped onion for 5 minutes with salt, pepper and seasonings. Add diced peppers and continue to saute until just tender, about 5 more minutes. Add garlic and stir into veggie mix.

Add bite-sized pieces of eggplant to skillet. Gently place pasta in skillet. Stir, cover and gently steam for 3-5 minutes.The oil and the moisture from the veggies should be enough to coat the pasta. If not, add a few spoons of the pasta water. Oops!  Did I forget to mention to save a bit  of that water? There’s a lesson to be learned here.**

Adjust seasonings.

** Second bb Note:

Always read a recipe through, no matter how simple or complex, to ensure you have all the ingredients/utensils you need.

ANOTHER NOTE: This recipe is highly adaptable. Use two medium diced tomatoes in last 3 minutes of veggie steaming. Use canned tomatoes. Don’t use tomatoes. Substitute peppers for zucchini or mushrooms or add both to sauce. Add 1/4 c. white OR red wine as veggies are sauteing.

Serve with a few spoons of shredded or grated cheese. Also great without cheese or with a shredded non-dairy cheese. A lot of choices? You bet!!

This dish fed two hungry people. We got to have seconds.

Great with shredded Parmesan

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From → Mains, Sides, Veggies

2 Comments
  1. Eggplant is meaty enough to be substituted for meat in a pasta dish:) If only I could fool my middle child who despises eggplant! I should not complain as my kids like pretty much every food, with one or two exceptions (lucky me!)
    And I did not believe for a second that all you ate was desserts – they are just much better behaving at photo sessions:)

    • I think you CAN fool her! Cut the roasted eggplant up smaller after it’s roasted and hide the eggplant somewhere before you’re ready to prepare it- good luck- somewhat sneaky J

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