Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hearty Eggplant Pasta

SLO Farm had some lovely gem-hued purple eggplants on sale at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market that I couldn't resist, although I didn't have specific plans for them. The Wednesday Food section of the New York Times offered inspiration with an article by Melissa Clark on whole wheat pasta and hearty sauces. I had a bag of whole wheat linguini that had been kicking around the pantry for months, and a hearty eggplant and tomato sauce seemed like the perfect accompaniment.

Because eggplants can soak up an alarming amount of oil if you saute them, I decided to cook slices, lightly brushed with olive oil, on a cast iron skillet under the broiler.

Meanwhile, I started a tomato sauce with onions and garlic and plenty of red pepper flakes.

To round out the sauce, I added cubed feta cheese and chopped parsley along with chunks of broiled eggplant.

The resulting sauce was delicious with the hefty whole wheat pasta.  The broiled eggplant had a rich, creamy texture that was echoed in the creaminess of the melted feta but contrasted by the feta's sharpness. I will definitely replenish my supply of whole wheat pasta to make this dish again.

Eggplant, Feta Tomato Sauce and Whole Wheat Pasta

12 plum tomatoes, diced or 1 can chopped tomatoes 
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 small or 1 large eggplant
3 Tbsp olive oil for sauce and more for brushing eggplant slices
~3 ounces feta cheese, cubed
~1 cup chopped parsley
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
1 lb whole wheat pasta

1. Heat Broiler. Slice eggplants and brush with olive oil. Broil about 8 minutes per side, until nicely browned and cooked through. Chop into bite sized pieces.

2. In a large saute pan, cook onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes in olive oil until translucent. Add tomatoes and simmer while you cook the pasta.

3. When the pasta is ready, stir in the eggplant, feta, and parsley. Then toss in the pasta. Enjoy with a nice red wine.

1 comment:

Renee said...

Wow, that looks so delicious and healthy too! Just used up the last of my eggplant the other day.