Monday, January 14, 2008

Roasty Toasty

I modified a recipe I saw on Everyday Italian with Giada "too-fucking-attractive-to-cook-all-that-fat-and-carbs" De Laurentiis.  Hers originally called for eggplant, tomatoes and garlic in the sauce, but I had to amp mine up.  And I used whole wheat pasta - something that bitch rarely does.
This was a good way to get some rarely used vegetables into my routine.  And it's easy.
Rigatoni with Roasted Eggplant Sauce
1 lb Whole Wheat Rigatoni (or other chunky pasta - WW rigatoni and penne are always easy to find)
1 medium eggplant or 3 baby eggplants (I used the babies because the mommas didn't look so fresh.)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 pint whole button mushrooms
1 or 2 red bell peppers
3 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil
lemon juice
parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 425F.
None of the following cuts have to be perfect.  Cut the eggplant into 1" chunks.  Wipe clean the mushrooms and slice them in half.  Remove the seeds and stem of the pepper(s) and slice into large (1") chunks.  In a large bowl, combine the chopped veggies and the whole cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves.  Toss with about 2 Tbsp of olive oil, a few big pinches of salt and pepper and the red pepper flakes, until all pieces are coated.  Place the veggies in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet.  Roast in the 425F oven for 30-40 minutes or until the eggplant and mushrooms are browned.  Check every 15 minutes to make sure they're doing all right.
When veggies are close to being fully roasted, bring a large pot of water to boil.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.  If you time this just right, you can finish the sauce while the pasta is cooking. 
Add the roasted veggies to a blender or food processor.  You will have to work in batches, so your appliance doesn't go crazy.  Just puree a quarter of your veggies, then add a quarter more, and so on.  When it's all pureed, add another Tbsp of olive oil, 1/4 cup of the pasta water, the juice of 1 lemon, some salt and pepper to taste, basil and some parmesan cheese (optional).  Blend to combine.
Drain your pasta and return it to the pot.  Pour your sauce over the hot pasta and stir over low heat until it's combined and warmed through.  This shouldn't take long.
I topped my little serving with a dollop of goat cheese.  Seriously?  If you haven't had goat cheese in your life, make it a goal.  It's supremely low in fat, tangy and creamy.  It adds a nice little kick and richness to tomatoey or brothy sauces when I'm not in the mood for a runny sauce.  It's good in green bean casserole, too.  It's one of my fridge staples along with parmesan cheese, dijon mustard, chicken broth, bagged spinach, tomatoes and Almond Breeze:
So there's that,

1 comment:

mkieper said...

"You don't deserve to go, you eat carbs for Christ sake"