Tuesday, November 13, 2007

good for you and tasty, both - who knew?

I found this recipe in the Plain Dealer recently and thought I would try it. It is really so good. Some of you - who may or may not be my children - might think you won't like it because of the eggplant, but, really, give it a try. We found it to be especially good as a vegetarian dinner on a rainy November evening. It was not as good when I re-heated it for a side dish, but I think it might have been because the vegetables lost their freshly-roasted flavor and texture.

Rotini with Smoky Eggplant and Red Pepper Sauce
makes 4 servings

1 large eggplant, cut in half
3 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into quarters
8 oz. rotini
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbps. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat broiler. Place eggplant halves, cut side down, in the center of the broiler pan. With a small sharp knife, prick through the skin of each half in several places. Arrange the peppers, cut side down, around the eggplant. Broil the vegetables until the pepper skins have blackened, about 20 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 10 minutes to loosen the skins. Return the eggplant to the broiler and cook until the skin has blackened and the flesh is completely softened, about another 10 minutes.

While the vegetables broil, cook the rotini in lightly salted water, according to package directions. In a large, bowl, combine the olive oil, parsley, lemon juice and garlic. When the eggplant is done, let it cool slightly, then use a large spoon to scrape the flesh from the skin onto a cutting board. Don't worry if the eggplant is "seedy". Chop the flesh to a chunky consistency and tranfer to the bowl with the olive oil mixture. Stir well.

Peel and discard the blackened skin from the cooled red peppers. Coarsely chop the peppers and add them to the eggplant mixture. Drain the pasta, add it to the sauce and toss thoroughly to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!


Julie said...

mmm! that does sound pretty good! i don't think i'd mind eggplant in that context--remember the veggie pasta dish i got at lui lui's the half-pizza oven, half-chinese food place in athens? that had squash, and i think eggplant too. as long as it's not all mashed up into a goop!

too bad i'm afraid of the broiler, or i could give this one a try. were the skins pretty easy to peel off?

anne mancine said...

I will make this for you when you are home at Christmas since you are unable to make it for yourself. What are moms for?

Bryan said...

Nothing related to this blog post, but I don't think I have your current e-mail address. I assume the Kent one is no longer active? I guess we've just been communicating via blog comments for the last few months. :)

Ben said...

Jules, seriously, the broiler thing. Maybe you should start small, like a counter top broiler oven or something? Without hot things, cooking as we know it would be different. Rawer and clammier, albeit safer.