Wheeee! A recipe! As promised! Finally! It's been a while, ay? And as mentioned before, it is super kid-friendly. And no, not just with my kid, I've tested it out on other kids too-- vegan and non vegan. And it's been a hit! It's not the absolutely fasted recipe to make, but it's not exuberantly time consuming either. And it's definitely not difficult, it just has some steps to go through.
And I totally know that eggplant cane be one of those things that people absolutely despise-- but I promise this recipe will be well received by even the most skeptical eggplant haters (just as long as you roast the eggplant well enough)!
We don't eat much pasta around here anymore. And we actually started making this recipe as more of a dip type dish, but Marlowe loved it so much that it made sense to transform the leftovers into an easy pasta dish that we could make really fast or that she could take to school. She's already asked if we could make it all the time for when she goes into kindergarten next year :) When we do make it (or pasta in general), I use brown rice pasta now. A gluten free, corn free one. Always make sure to check the ingredients-- with whatever pasta you choose, make sure there's no funky additives (there shouldn't be!) and of course make sure it's organic too of course!
This recipe also came about because of the ridiculous amount of these teeny tiny grape tomatoes we had growing in the garden. I totally recommended growing some of your own or searching the farmers market for these little bad boys. The sweeter the tomato, the better, in my opinion. Of course, regular grape and cherry tomatoes will do, but if you can find tiny magical ones, do it! Also, I've said it before a multitude of times, but organic tomatoes taste SO MUCH better than conventional ones. They're naturally better for you and sweeter too :) I promise! Oh and another tomato tip, buy ones that are non refrigerated and keep yours out too-- they get a bit grainy once you refrigerate them. Just a tip :)
Oh one more thing! this recipe makes A LOT. It's to feed a large family or have a ton of leftovers! You can easily cut the recipe in half though. We just like a lot to make the week easier with leftovers.
Ready to make some eggplant magic?
2 medium eggplants
4 cups sweet tomatoes
1 small-medium onion, diced
6 large cloves garlic, peeled + sliced
a big handful fresh basil (leaving some for garnish)
fresh oregano and thyme (optional, but recommended)
1-2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
salt + pepper
your favorite pasta
-set oven to broil
-slice eggplants in half, lengthwise and place on roasting sheet
-drizzle in olive oil and sprinkle with salt
-place in oven and broil until completely blackened (see photo below)*
-while eggplants are roasting, place your tomatoes on tray. quarter larger tomatoes, if using. add half your garlic to tray, and a few leaves of basil. drizzle in olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss around, coating everything well.
-now the fun part, with a large spoon or fork, begin scooping out the eggplant flesh. It's okay if a bit of skin makes it's way into the dish, but you want o make sure you're getting as much of the very soft, tender eggplant as you can. The longer you roast the eggplant, the creamier it will be! So don't be afraid to 'overcook' it a bit! Scoop it all up and leave on see until ready to use. discard skins.
-add to oven and broil until tomatoes and tender, blistered, and juicy.
-heat a large heavy bottom pot on medium heat with olive oil
-begin sautéing onions, stirring frequently to not burn
-once onions are softened, add the remaining garlic, and fresh herbs, and give the pot a stir.
-add your eggplant to the pot, and approximately 1 cup of water, 1/4 cup at time. Stirring and continuing to soften the eggplant even more.
-this is where t's a bit more lengthy, but easy-- you want to connote stirring and cooking your eggplant for another 10 minutes or so, then lower heat, add lid to top and steam for another 5 minutes or so.
-add tomatoes, garlic, and roasted basil to pot, stir.
-add salt + pepper to taste
-add in 1 to 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar. This will add an extra kick of sweetness and acid to the dish. I'd add one tablespoon first, mix and taste and the decide if you want to add more or not! Acid levels are very person to your taste buds! :)
-add a handful of fresh chopped herbs
-and toss with favorite pasta!
*that top of middle eggplant is the best example of post-roasting color. the one on bottom ends to be roasted a bunch more! Again, don't be afraid of over-roasting. The more roasted it is, the creamier the dish will be!
And tadaaaaa you have an easy and delicious roasted eggplant dish and that even the most adamant eggplant hates will love! Honestly, the first few times we made this, we'd serve it to marlowe just telling her it was pasta, leaving out the eggplant part. She'd then devour it, and then we'd later admit to her it was eggplant. Sneaky, maybe, but she would have given us a hard time had she known it was eggplant prior to eating ;)
Also, the color of your pasta might be completely different if you're using red tomatoes! Just keep that in mind. It'll probably actually look better ;) We just have ten million of the yellow tomatoes :)
Want some more easy to please eggplant recipes? There's some in the cookbook too! Hooray!
Hope you guys are having a great week! I still have one more recipe to share and loads of LA photos too :) Happy June 1st!