Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tangy Eggplant Pasta Bake

There was an eggplant in the fridge that needed to be used, I'll admit I haven't had much experience cooking with eggplant...I was afraid I would end up with a bitter mess. Step 1: Google every viable vegetarian recipe for eggplant-something. Although i didn't turn over a specific recipe I was keen on, I did get the gist of good eggplant accompaniments, such as tomato and olives! I also learnt exactly why you prepare the eggplant with salt. Turns out the process is called "Degorging," the salt draws out the vegetables moisture, which is bitter in larger, older eggplants with brown seeds. In other words, As-salt your eggplants to reduce bitterness and improve their flavour.

My initial meal ended up quiet the tangy treat. So if your into that sort of thing you could skip the whole pasta-bake part and just use the sauce as a bread-topper. Personally as much as I love tang, I found the flavours far more "balanced" when I tossed through pasta, so that method has my recommendation:)

The picture is some that I had frozen and am eating for lunch while spamming dungeons in WoW patch 4.3. My food photography is abhorrent and I just used my iphone. But here it is anyway unabashed in wow-snack-time glory.

Tangy eggplant pasta bake and Wow Patch 4.3!

  • 1 Large eggplant, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 Medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Can crushed/diced tomato
  • 1/2 Cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup black or green olives (or both!), pitted and chopped
  • 2 TBS capers, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Cheese, cheddar is fine
  • 500g-1kg Pasta, depending on how saucy you want the pasta bake
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 2 TBS Basil (fresh, frozen or squeezy)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 TBS oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Colander
  • Large non-stick frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Paper towel
  • Tray and Baking Paper
  • Oven dish (for the pasta bake)
  1. Preheat oven to 190 Dc and place some sheets of baking paper on the tray (it's easier to clean!)
  2. Place eggplant cubes in the colander, sprinkle with salt and set aside for 30 minutes. (It sounds like forever, but a match or LoL or a WoW dungeon and they are ready :P)
  3. Rinse eggplant under cold water, dry with the paper towel, arrange on the baking tray and brush with 1/2 TBS oil. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, turning at halftime.
  4. Cook the pasta in salted water either on the stove or in the microwave. Drain.
  5. Meanwhile, Saute the onion in a little oil or water (for the health conscious), stir frequently.
  6. Add the canned tomato and 1/2 cup extra water, reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally for about 25 minutes until reduced to a sauce.
  7. Mix in 1/2 cup water, sugar, eggplant, olives, capers (and a dash of the caper vinegar if you like), redwine, salt and pepper. Cook stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes. Then add the basil.
  8. Stir the entire mixture through the cooked pasta in the pasta-bake dish.
  9. Top with a light sprinkle of cheese and place in the oven until the cheese is melted.
  10. EAT! Freeze any leftovers for lunch

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