Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Vicky's Gift...Pasta with Eggplant

My knitting friend Vicky brought me this gift last week.  Isn't this the most fun pasta? Like spaghetti...but with a hole in the middle.
This is my kind of gift!!!  We talk food and cooking a lot at knitting and Vicky made a pasta dish that she thought I would enjoy.  So she thoughtfully gifted me the dried past along with the recipe.  Vicky was right; I did like the pasta recipe...a lot!!! In fact we all loved it.  It's light and flavorful and the pasta was really fun.  If you think that you don't like eggplant, try this recipe, it should help change your mind.
I grew these heirloom baby eggplants in my garden this year but as you can see they are small and I didn't have enough so I bought a large purple eggplant at the farm stand.  It was 1 lb. Just the right size for this recipe.
The best thing about this recipe (besides the great taste)...it's fast and healthy. Thanks Vicky.

Vicky's Pasta with Eggplant Puree
(From Gourmet magazine)

1 lb. of eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, lightly smashed (I used 6 cloves [as per Vicky's suggestion to use more than 3])
2 sprigs fresh thyme or oregano, chopped (I used both)
1 cup liquid (I used chicken stock)
2 Tablespoons dried tomatoes, minced
6 leaves of basil, chiffonaded
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 lb. pasta

Lightly salt the eggplant slices, and stack them back together and let them sit for about 20 minutes.  They will weep liquid.  This will season the eggplant and leach out the bitterness. 

Put the olive oil in a wide heavy pan, add the garlic cloves and put on low heat (you don't want the garlic to brown or burn or it will be bitter).  Rinse the salt from the eggplant and dry it.  Cut into even 1/2-inch cubes and toss in with the olive oil.  Turn the heat to medium and add the thyme and oregano (I used both because I had them in the garden) and stir.  Cook the eggplant 'til it's translucent and soft.  Add the liquid, bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low and cover loosely, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking.

Meanwhile, boil some salted water, and drop your pasta.  Cook until it is slightly underdone.  Drain but don't rinse.  Reserve some pasta water in case you need to loosen the finished dish.

When most of the liquid is absorbed and the eggplant is mushy and thick (about 20 minutes), lightly smash the eggplant and add the herbs.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add the pasta back into the sauce pan and cook for a few minutes, turning to coat the pasta.  Add the dried tomatoes and basil.  Remove the pasta to a serving plate.

*Vicky added sausage to her recipe.  I sauteed some fresh raw prawns in the pan after removing the pasta to a serving plate and added them right before serving.  (I had the prawns in the freezer, but I can imagine that the sausage was wonderful).


  1. Looks wonderful !!! Love the recipe ..

    (fun food ideas for picky eaters )

  2. this does look yummy. I love prawns and pasta but have an egg plant aversion. The pasta is great! I have never seen one like that before. It looks a bit like udon. Do you know specifically what sort of pasta it is and where it comes from?

  3. Thanks for the eggplant tip, now I know why mine always has a bitter taste.
    Love the recipe, yummy.

  4. I'm not an eggplant fan though it is pretty:) Perhaps this recipe could change my mind. This tubed pasta looks like it could hold some sauce in each bite!

  5. Oh, I love, love eggplant. I have several left on the vine. The salting does make a huge difference, and I've gone with less than 5 minutes before and it helps. I will make this up at the first of the week. It looks like an excellant dish.