Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Pasta and Eggplant

I had one of the worst days ever yesterday, so updating the blog wasn't super high on my list of priorities. Let's just say I spent most of the day reminiscing about the days before I had kids. And I didn't really decide what I was going to make until late afternoon. I wanted to use the eggplant I bought at Sprouts last week (they were 2 for $1...2 for $1!!!!!!), but I didn't want to make eggplant parmesan again since it's so time-consuming and really not that healthy. Jen mentioned this recipe she had made from Pioneer Woman's website, so I thought I'd give it a go as well. Jen made some modifications to it, so I went with her version.

PW's Pasta and Eggplant: A Variation
Olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium eggplants (the original recipe has 3 eggplant)
4 sliced, small Portobello mushrooms (optional, not in the original recipe)
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
Fresh basil
1 1-lb package fusilli
salt & pepper
Parmesan Cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Slice eggplant into round slices. Sprinkle one side with salt and allow to stand or 15-20 minutes. Turn over and repeat for another 15-20 minutes. Rinse eggplant and pat dry. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil and cook onion and garlic until starting to turn color, about 5 minutes. Add eggplant and mushrooms, stirring gently. Cook for 8 minutes, or until somewhat tender and starting to brown. Dump in canned tomatoes and reduce heat to simmer. Add salt and pepper and simmer until eggplant is tender. Toss in cooked pasta and chopped basil. Stir in 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Garnish with shaved Parmesan.


I only had one eggplant to use, but I think it was enough. I think the three in the original recipe would have been too much, but maybe without the mushrooms you'd want three. I used cremini mushrooms in mine--yum. I didn't have any cans of tomatoes, so I defrosted some homemade tomato sauce I had in the freezer and used that instead. It seemed a little shy to me, so I added in a few ladles of the pasta water to stretch it some.

We all really liked this. The husband and I both had seconds, and the boy ate all that was on his plate which is rare these days. It made a lot--after dinner there were still at least three large servings left, so at least we have lunch for a couple days. I'll definitely make this again--it was really easy and so tasty.

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