I love pasta and love coming up with so many new recipes. This is an excellent one that uses eggplant and mushrooms. Frying the eggplant before brings out a nice sweetness to the eggplant and compliments all the other ingredients well. The mushrooms add a nice meaty taste and the tomatoes help create a nice sauce. I enjoyed making this and hope you do too!
EGGPLANT, MUSHROOM AND CHERRY TOMATO PASTA
Recipe by Mark Calaminici | Food Loves Company
Oil, for frying, your choice
1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced/quartered into thin strips
300g cremini mushrooms, cleaned and finely chopped
White wine, to taste
1 garlic clove, smashed
200g cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Chili flakes, to taste
Fresh basil, torn and to taste
60g Parmigiano-Reggiano, or to taste
1. Fill a frying pan on high heat with enough oil to cover half of the eggplant slices. Once the oil is hot, place the eggplant slices into the oil away from you. Fry for about 3-4 minutes per side or until browned. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel. You can blot the top of the slices to grab any excess oil as well. Set aside.
2. Heat a large pan over high heat. Add mushrooms and let cook, undisturbed. After about 5-10 minutes give a stir and depending on how brown they are leave again for another 5 minutes, undisturbed. You want to release as much moisture from the mushrooms as you can. Once the mushrooms have started to brown and most of the moisture has been released deglaze with white wine. Add garlic, cherry tomatoes, eggplant and season with salt, freshly cracked pepper and chilli flakes for heat. Continue to cook until the tomatoes are soft, breaking with a wooden spoon to break up, do the same with the eggplant. Bring heat down to low-medium while cooking the pasta.
3. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water just before al dente, as we will finish cooking the pasta in the sauce. Reserve pasta water.
4. Add a ladle of pasta water to the pan just before removing the pasta to help cook everything down even more. Add pasta to the pan with a ladle of pasta water. Continue to cook the pasta in the pan, stirring and tossing, adding more pasta water if needed. Add the basil and mix and toss. Turn off the heat or remove the pan from the head and add the Parmigiano-Reggiano, a handful at a time and mix and toss to incorporate into the pasta. You can add more pasta water if you want a bit of a looser sauce. Enjoy!