Tuesday, February 04, 2014

A Pasta Entree You Need In Your Repertoire



Winter meals often require ingenuity based around pantry and fridge staples. Even if you're not perpetually buried under snow like us here at Cafe Drake HRV, you probably don't feel like braving the cold for ingredients when dinner's getting started late. This was created from what we had sitting around - fettuccine, an eggplant, a jar of roasted peppers and soft goat cheese etc. Thinly slice into rounds 1 regular Italian eggplant and toss with olive oil to coat. Roast in a single layer - you'll need a large baking sheet or two smaller ones - for 25 minutes in a 400 degree F. oven. Flip slices if needed and check once for over-browning. Burned eggplant can become bitter quickly. Remove from oven and set aside while you cook 1 12-14 oz. package of fettuccine (or spaghetti, ziti, etc) until just al dente or just tender. Salt the pasta cooking water heavily; it should have the same salinity as sea water. Drain and return to pasta pot. Stir in the roasted eggplant along with 1-2 whole roasted red peppers (jarred veggies are fine), salt, pepper and around 3 oz. of soft goat cheese. Adjust seasoning if needed  and finally, add chopped parsley to your taste. Finish the pasta at the table with a healthy drizzle of good olive oil. A few quartered grape tomatoes are also a nice touch. Just don't run to the store if you don't have them!

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