Here’s the thing about eggplant: it doesn’t taste like anything. Unlike most fruits and vegetables, it is almost unheard of to be eaten raw. But eggplant, like tofu, has a soft, tender texture when cooked as well as the ability to soak up delicious spices and sauces, which makes it a wonderful meat substitute.
There are only four dishes I make or have made with eggplant: Eggplant Parmesan, Baba Ganoush, Eggplant Burgers, and Eggplant Pomodoro. (The word ‘eggplant’ looks weird now that I’ve typed it so many times…)
I’ve posted this recipe before, but I’m going to repost it, because that’s how much I like it. It’s one of my absolute favorite pasta dishes. It is a bit salty, so I’d recommend rinsing the capers, olives, and/or anchovies before adding or subsitute mozzarella for parmesan if you’re sensitive.
Eggplant Pomodoro with Anchovies
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium eggplant, (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 plum tomatoes, diced
- 1/3 cup chopped pitted green olives
- 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 2 teaspoons capers, rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, (optional)
- 12 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
- 2 tins rolled anchovies
- Parmesan cheese, grated
Put a pot of water on to boil.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about five minutes.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute.
Add tomatoes, olives, vinegar, red wine, capers, pepper, and crushed pepper and cook, stirring, until tomatoes break down, about 5-7 minutes.
Stir in anchovies.
Remove from heat. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.
I always serve my sauce over pasta, because I like lots of sauce, particularly when we have good bread to soak it up. I’ll take my carbs in the form of good bread over pasta any day.
Dave made homemade French bread on Sunday, and it was the perfect addition to the meal. In fact, I told Dave it may have been the best bread he’s made. It was dense and chewy with a wonderfully crispy crust. So good. He also made a huge salad for his dinner on Sunday, and I gladly took part in the leftovers.
It was a lovely dinner.
Now that I’ve had eggplant again, I’m really jonesing to try the Cajun Stuffed Eggplant recipe I requested a year ago from a family friend. I had it in high school during a dinner party and liked it so much, I remembered to ask for it last year. It must be good. When the temperature drops below 90 degrees, maybe I’ll heat up the oven again.