Friday, May 14, 2010

Where Have You Been All My Vegetarian Life?

I have always been under the impression that I don't like eggplant.  My dad never liked it and was very verbal about it when I was growing up.  My mom never made it.  So I just assumed I didn't like it. 

Then I ate it at my father in law's house because it was all there was.  Shockingly, I loved it.  I mean what vegetarian doesn't like eggplant?  But I have been scared to make it at home.  I have no idea what I'm doing with it.  I have no clue how to even pick one or prepare it. 

But I have challenged myself to branch out.  And so I bought one.  And I got it home and it sat in my fridge for almost a week.  I had no idea what to do with it.  So I pulled out all my cookbooks.  And yes I mean all of them, even the ones that I haven't opened in years.  I didn't find anything that sounded awesome so I took a little for this and a little of that and made up my own recipe. 

Baked Eggplant Pasta with Goat Cheese

Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion
1 Medium Red Pepper
1 Package Mushrooms
White Wine
1/2 Tsp Thyme
Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and Pepper
1 Can (the big one) Crushed Tomatoes
1 Eggplant
1 lb Pasta cooked aldente
1-2 oz soft goat cheese
Fresh Basil

Cut the Eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds then again into smaller strips. Salt it.  Leave it be while you make the sauce

Make a red sauce by cooking the onions, peppers, and Mushrooms.  Once they are well cooked, add the garlic.  Cook for 1 - 2 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of white wine and scrape all the garlic off the bottom of the pan.  Add the Crushed Tomatoes, Thyme, Red Pepper Flakes, salt, and Pepper.  Simmer for 10 minutes.

While that simmers, stir fry the eggplant in a pan with olive oil.  Once it is nice and tender, put it in the sauce. Let it cook for 15 - 20 minutes while you cook the pasta. (And if you are wondering, I modified my picture to cut out the crumbs that were on my stove from a previous meal.  Saying that I'm a messy cook is an understatement)

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the sauce pot.  Add the goat cheese and stir really well.  Just that little bit will make this dish so creamy and delicious!

Transfer it all to a 13x9 and sprinkle the top with fresh basil (mine came from the garden).  Cover it with foil and cook it at 375 for 15 minutes. 

Enjoy.  If you have any suggestions of what I should do with eggplant, please let me know!

1 comment:

  1. Eggplant is my favorite! I always order it out and last year we grew it in our garden. I started steaming it to make similar dishes to yours and a more healthy eggplant parm.


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