January 8, 2013
Gemelli with Eggplant and Mint
In the wintertime, it can be hard to find good veggies to cook with, and eating with good veggies is a fundamental part of a healthy diet. That's why we're thankful for our good friend, eggplant. Some people really don't like eggplant. I can't get my mind around that. It tastes like whatever you cook it with plus a touch of umami, and has a nice thick texture that can almost convince you that you're eating meat. In my opinion, that's a winner.
So this is a dish that is a nice tribute to that magical vegetablemeat. It's very simple and easy to put together, the perfect thing for a new cook or a rushed cook. We recommend using Italian eggplant, as opposed to American eggplant. The Italian eggplants are a smaller (and a little pricier), but they don't have nearly as many seeds and on the whole have a better, less bitter flavor. So go ahead and sauté, simmer, and enjoy!
Making the Dish
2 Italian eggplants, chopped into cubes
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
4 tbsp freshly chopped mint
3 tbsp olive oil
1.5 cups tomato sauce
1/2 lb gemelli pasta
Pecorino romano for garnish
Sprinkle your cubed eggplant with salt and let sit for about 10 minutes. Then, press down on it with a paper towel and get out some of the excess water. Get started by sautéing the onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. When the onion and garlic are translucent, add in the eggplant and sauté until soft - about 5 - 7 minutes.
Add in the tomato sauce and mint and stir to combine. Let come to a boil and then simmer. While the sauce is simmering, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the gemelli according to the package instructions - finishing a few minutes shy for al dente perfection.
Serve topped with freshly grated pecorino romano cheese for garnish. Dig in and enjoy!
One year ago: Bucatini with Chicken Ragu (we actually just made this again a week ago)
Two years ago: Farfalle with Lamb, Basil, and Sundried Tomato