Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pasta with Eggplant and Garlic Thyme Breadcrumbs

Pasta always seems like an easy option for Friday night dinners during Lent. Brady came across this recipe for pasta with eggplant and garlic thyme breadcrumbs recently and we gave it a try last weekend. We eat tons of vegetables but I tend to forget about eggplant. I think it's partially due to the fact that eggplant requires a little prep work. I also try to avoid heavy groceries when it's just me doing the grocery shopping! This dish reminded me though how tasty eggplant is and that it's completely worth the extra 30 minutes to let it soak in salted water to get rid of any bitterness. Luckily, the rest of the steps in this recipe are simple and the end result is delicious!

Pasta with Eggplant and Garlic Thyme Breadcrumbs

Prep/Cook Time: 45 minutes

8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 c. tomato puree
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
12.5 ounces whole wheat rigatoni or fusilli pasta
1 eggplant
1 T. capers
1 T. black olives, halved
salt and pepper
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Garlic Thyme Breadcrumbs
6 T. breadcrumbs
3 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp thyme

Preheat the broiler to HI.

Cut the eggplant into small cubes and put them in salted water for half an hour. After soaking, pat them dry and put them on a baking dish covered with a little cooking spray. Drizzle with a little olive oil and broil them for about 4-5 minutes, until golden and crisp. Set them aside.

Cook the pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, saute the garlic in a pan with 2 T. olive oil. Add the halved tomatoes, the tomato pure, a little salt and 3 T. of water. Let the sauce cook for 5 minutes on low. Add in the capers, olives and a little torn basil.  Add the baked eggplant cubes and mix well.

While the sauce is simmering and the pasta is cooking, combine the garlic thyme breadcrumb ingredients in a small bowl.

Before draining the pasta, put 2 T. pasta water in the tomato and eggplant sauce. Drain the remaining pasta water and then combine the pasta and eggplant sauce. Serve with grated cheese and the garlic thyme breadcrumbs on top. 

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