Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August 30: Roasted Garlic and Eggplant Marinara Nests

1 medium-size firm eggplant
   Coarse salt
1 pound angel hair pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
5 garlic cloves, whole and skins intact
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
   Coarse black pepper
¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
20 fresh basil leaves, shredded (chiffonade) or torn
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese
   Crusty bread, to pass at the table

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Place the whole eggplant, skin and all, on a rimmed cookie sheet. Pierce the skin on the top of the eggplant several times with the tines of a fork. Drizzle a little EVOO on your hands and coat the garlic cloves well.

Wrap the garlic in a single layer of foil. Place the garlic packet next to the eggplant. Place the pan in the lower third of the hot oven and roast for 18 to 22 minutes, depending on the thickness of your eggplant; the eggplant will look weird, like a blown tire, when removed from the oven.

When the eggplant has been in the oven for 15 minutes add the pasta to the boiling water with the salt.

Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the EVOO, red pepper flakes, and onions.

Saute for 10 minutes, then stir in the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, bring to a bubble, and reduce the heat to low.

Carefully cut the skin away from the cooked eggplant flesh; it will be hot. Use a sharp paring or boning knife and get messy – no contest for “best trimmed skin,” you’re just going to chuck it. Unwrap the garlic and pop the pulp from the skins. Place the eggplant and garlic in a food processor with the parsley. Season with salt and pepper and process until fairly smooth.

Mix the hot eggplant and garlic into the hot tomato sauce and stir in the basil to wilt.

Drain the pasta, toss with the sauce and cheese, and roll into nests. Serve with salad and bread.


Ok, I think I fixed my camera. For now anyway. Here's what I thought about this meal. It was so similar to the first one (it's a variation on the tomato basil pasta nests); I don't know how, but I think the eggplant made it blander. I didn't like it as much. Again, I missed the part about the salad, so I didn't serve it with a salad.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear about your camera. I hope you get it fixed OK.