Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fresh Vegetable Sauce with Pasta

This is a really quick way to eat your vegetables and have dinner on the table in under 20 minutes. This dish appealed to the lazy daisy inside me, who doesn't always want to spend an hour or two cooking on a weeknight. Sometimes I need something quick, that is also nutritious, and of course yummy. Especially when cooking for healthy boyfriend, he is not a fan of the ole bread and cheese dinner I used to be so fond of. It's good to keep him around because he is constantly making sure there is enough healthy food on the dinner plate.
This sauce is easy, and most of the vegetables are in season right now. Not sure about the rest of the country but in NC you can still buy tomatoes, eggplant, onions, and garlic at the farmers market.
The combination of these vegetables was lovely, which makes sense given they all grow around the same time. Food that grows to together, stays together. Or should anyway.
Only a few chops and 15 minutes stands between you and a healthy dinner!

Pasta with Fresh Vegetable Sauce
Adapted from Jacques Pepin's Table

Be sure to boil the pasta-cooking water before you begin the vegetable sauce. It only takes about 7 minutes to make the sauce and 8 minutes to cook the pasta, so have your water boiling before you begin.
The Goods: Serves 4
1/2 pound spaghetti (number 4)
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
1 large red onion (1 1/2 cups), halved and thinly sliced
1 small eggplant (6 ounces), diced into 1/2-inch pieces
3-4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
2 ripe tomatoes (12 ounces), seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons parsely, coarsely chopped
2-3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

The Deal: 
1. Bring water to a boil. Add pasta, return water to a boil, and cook for about 8 minutes, until pasta is just tender to bite.

2. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large saucepan and saute the onions and eggplant until soft and browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and mix in the garlic. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Mix throughly and set aside.
Accidently diced my onion, but just slice thin into strips

3. Remove 1/3 cup of the pasta cooking water, and add it to the eggplant mixture. Drain the pasta, add it to the saucepan, and toss to coat it with the vegetables. Serve immediately, and sprinkle with parsley and parmesan to taste. 

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