Thursday, September 9, 2010
Pasta with Eggplant, Peppers, Olives & Capers
1 eggplant (about 12 oz. to 1 lb.), topped & tailed and cut in a 1/2- to 3/4-inch dice
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 a medium red onion, diced (about 1/4-inch)
1 red or yellow bell peppers, trimmed and diced (about 1/3-inch)
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. vine ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded (juices reserved) and chopped
1 1/2 T. capers, rinsed
1/4 cup mixed green & black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/2 T. dried oregano
1/2 lb. pasta (penne, rigatoni or gemelli)
Toss the eggplant in a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Spread the eggplant on a baking sheet and roast 425°, stirring once about half to two-thirds of the way through the cooking time. The eggplant is done when it is golden and tender—about 20 to 25 minutes total. Set aside.
Measure the reserved tomato juices and add enough water to make 1/4 cup. Add the tomatoes, along with their juices, to the pan with the onions and peppers and bring to a simmer. Add the eggplant, capers, olives and oregano.
Season with salt & pepper and gently simmer (uncovered) for about a half hour, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to blend.
Bring 6 quarts of water to the boil in a large stock/pasta pot. Add 2 tablespoons of salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. When the pasta is ready, drain in a colander, being sure to reserve some of the pasta cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss well, adding some of the pasta water if the sauce seems dry. Drizzle with a little olive oil and toss again. Serve with a generous shower of Pecorino. Serves 2 to 3 (recipe easily doubles to serve 5 or 6).