Monday, January 25, 2010

Mission Sidedish Continued- Eggplant Pasta

Eggplant has not been a very popular vegetable in my home. Fried eggplant is always nice with a little tomato sauce, but nothing really healthier or more creative than that. My mission was to find a fun and flavorful way to introduce eggplant to my family so that they will want to try more. The recipe I found was for Eggplant pasta. Basically, you cut the eggplant into thin strips and it acts like the pasta in the dish. The original recipe called for cream instead of drained yogurt, but I found the yogurt really gives the dish a nice tang and it is much healthier!

2 medium-large eggplants
Kosher salt, for purging
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
4 small tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup yogurt- drained in cheesecloth
4 tablespoons basil chiffonade
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Freshly ground pepper

Peel each eggplant leaving 1-inch of skin at the top and bottom unpeeled. Slice the eggplant thinly lengthwise, about 1/4-inch thick. Evenly coat each slice with the salt and purge on a sheet pan fitted with a rack for 30 minutes.

Rinse with cold water and roll in paper towels to dry. Slice the pieces into thin strips to resemble pasta.

In a large saute pan heat the oil. Add the garlic and chili flakes and toast. Add the eggplant "pasta" and toss to coat. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Add the cream and increase heat to thicken sauce. Finally add the basil and Parmesan and toss to combine. Season with pepper, no salt needed as the eggplant will have residual salt from the purge. Serve immediately.

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