Wednesday, June 16, 2010

comfort food: eggplant pasta

Sometimes I wish life was just "real simple," don't you? We have so many decisions to make each moment (grande or venti, burger or salad, heels or flats, red or white) let alone each time a mini life-crisis rears its head (this job or that job, follow my passion or follow my heart, rent or buy, peace out or stay put) and sometimes I just wish I had my own personal coach to curate my life and figure it all out for me. Do you ever feel that way (read: crazy)?


Until I find this personal assistant/savior/magician (who want's the job??), I'm relying on others to figure out the details... well, at least what's for dinner.

I was in the mood to cook the other night and logged on to RealSimple.com for a "quick 15-minute dinner" recipe for inspiration. This eggplant pasta salad popped up and having never cooked with eggplant I jotted down the ingredients and ran to the store.

Friends, this is deeelish! I prefer it warm vs. cold as the recipe instructs but the flavor is big and the capers are a must! Perfect (comforting) weeknight meal for the mini life-crisis around the corner ;)

Eggplant Pasta Salad

3 tbsp. olive oil
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup white wine
kosher salt and pepper
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. capers
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
1 pound dried penne

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the celery and cook, 3 minutes. Stir in the eggplant and tomatoes.

In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 2 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and the sugar. Stir into the eggplant.

Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is tender, 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the capers, pine nuts (if using) and parsley.

Meanwhile, cook the penne according to the package directions. Toss with the remaining oil, let cool, and cover. Combine the eggplant with the pasta before serving.

3 comments:

Joanne said...

Real Simple always has seriously awesome recipes that are quick and easy! I've never made one that I didn't like.

I'm pretty sure this would be no exception, given my serious love of eggplant.

Lesley K Yates said...

Looks really good, but I'm not a fan of eggplant. But, it looks amazing :)

Beth said...

Joanne- It was light and delicious, and a good first step for me to try cooking with eggplant. Such a funny vegetable!

Lesley- Might not want to try it if you don't like eggplant, but it was delicious! Thanks for posting :)

 
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