Yesterday, I had a pot luck dinner to go to. I had spent the morning dealing with car repairs. By the time I got home, I didn’t feel like doing much of anything. Go shopping to get what I needed for the pot luck? Nah. I decided to just make something from what I had.
I pulled together the ingredients I had on hand. Well! It looked like I was going to make a pasta dish using eggplant from the garden. It’s too hot for tomatoes in Texas right now. So I used canned. I threw together this dish. It took about 30 minutes. It tasted pretty good, especially the next day! I am definitely keeping this recipe for everyday!
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 Onion, chopped.
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper. I like things hot!
Salt and black pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup Kalamata olives
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried if you don’t have fresh
1 pound dried penne
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Then add the onion and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until translucent. Then stir in the eggplant and tomatoes.
In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, vinegar, ¼ cup water, 2 ½ teaspoons salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and the sugar. Stir into the eggplant mixture. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the capers, pine nuts (if desired), and basil. I almost added mint. That is big in Mediterranean cooking. I decided not too as I was cooking this for people I really don’t know well. Here is how the eggplant sauce looked when cooked to where I liked it.
Meanwhile, cook the penne according to the package directions. Make sure you cook it al dente. Then drain and rinse. You want to stop the pasta from continue to cook. Toss with the remaining oil; let cool.
Combine with the eggplant sauce and then serve. Put Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper on the table and let people top with them.
Yesterday’s leftovers, today!