Setting the table is the easy part. What is more difficult is deciding the menu which I want to be tasty, seasonally appropriate and does not require me to be in the kitchen all day. Hmmm, now that can be a challenge.
Now that evenings have gotten cooler, they seem to call for comfort food such as this pasta dish. Usually, I make the sauce without meat, but I added Italian sausage this time around to give it a bit more heartiness and extra flavor. The recipe satisfies my criteria, and best of all, the dish is one that usually has folks asking for a second serving. When not a bite is left on the plate, that’s what I call successful.
1 eggplant, peeled and cubed into 1″ pieces
6 T. olive oil, more if needed
1 bunch green onions, chopped, including tops
1 1/2 T. minced garlic
1 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. dry white wine (I use vermouth)
1 1/2 c. diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
3 T. fresh herbs such as mint, basil, parsley
1 lb. pasta
Sprinkle eggplant with salt and place in a colander. Let stand for 30 minutes, then rinse and pat dry.
In a large pan over medium heat, sauté green onions in 1 T. olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, red pepper flakes and sauté 1 minute.* Add the wine and cook until it has almost evaporated. Add the tomatoes and simmer until the sauce thickens a bit, about 5 minutes. While it is simmering, crush the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper, stir in 1 T. herbs and keep warm.
In another pan over high heat, cook the eggplant in 4 T. warmed olive oil until it is golden. Add more olive oil if necessary. Add eggplant to the tomato sauce and heat through.
Serve over cooked pasta, top with your favorite Italian cheese and some chopped herbs. Accompany with a green salad and crusty Italian bread, a good bottle of Chianti, and there you have it.
Makes 4 servings.
*If you are adding Italian sausage, saute with these ingredients.
i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind