Monday, August 10, 2009

Fusilli with Eggplant, Pine Nuts, Currants and Capers

Eggplant Pasta


I am about to type words that I never thought would issue from this keyboard. I found an eggplant recipe that I like! Actually I can go further than that, I loved this recipe! Seriously, me and eggplant, who knew?

I found this pasta dish is my go-to weeknight cookbook, The Bon Appetit Cookbook: Fast Easy Fresh. I know that I have raved on and on about this cookbook, so I'll spare you the gushing this time, but still, it's amazing..oops sorry, sort of gushing. Anyway, this all comes together so beautifully. The eggplant marries with the tomatoes and then there is the sweet stickiness from the currants and the satisfying crunch of the pine nuts. I made the recipe as directed, except that I didn't have any fusilli, I had some fancy shell pasta from a recent Marshall's excursion. You can find the recipe online at Epicurious and I've shared it down below for you.

Fusilli with Eggplant, Pine Nuts, Currants, and Capers
Serves 6

2 16-ounce eggplants, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
3/4 cup dried currants
1/2 cup drained capers
2 14 1/4-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
1 pound fusilli pasta
1 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Place eggplant slices on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Let stand over 20 minutes. Turn eggplant slices over. Sprinkle with salt. Let stand 20 minutes longer. Rinse eggplant. Drain; pat fry with paper towels. Cut eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add eggplant; sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in pine nuts, currants, and capers; sauté 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juices; bring to simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but firm enough to bite. Drain. Return pasta to pot. Add eggplant mixture, 1/4 cup cheese, and basil. Toss to combine. Transfer to large bowl. Serve, passing remaining cheese separately.


This will be my entry for Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Psychgrad at Equal Opportunity Kitchen.

22 comments:

Joanne said...

I loved this when I made it as well! Maybe your tastes are changing. Before we know it you'll be gorging on lima beans and okra.

Anh said...

This is my type of dinner as well. I will make it for our dinner soon!

Kat said...

I have made a tomato sauce base with eggplant many times, and you can serve it over pasta or polenta. It was a family favorite when I was growing up. My daughter in law also makes a wonderful lasagna with eggplant. Glad you found something you like!!
Did you start school yet?

Katherine Aucoin said...

Being a pasta girl and loving eggplant, this sure looks and sounds like a winner. Your gushing is well placed!

Amy said...

I'm not a big fan of eggplant, either. I find it to be bitter. I desperately want to like eggplant parmesan, but alas, I just don't.

But, this...this looks good. I like all the other ingredients. And you sold me, so I'm putting it on the to-do list.

Casey said...

My mom forced me to try eggplant when I was 7, and let me say that the aftermath was not pretty. However, since about college I have learned to appreciate the purple vegetable. Baba ghanouj is a great appetizer... and if you like indian food, they have some tasty preparations as well! However, my CSA eggplant is going to be dedicated to the recipe you just shared... yum!

food with style said...

ooh i have everything on hand to whip this up, i bet my husband would love it!

tlm said...

I am not a fan of eggplant either. Maybe I need to try this....thanks for sharing it!

SparkleFarkle said...

Looks incredible and incredibly delicious! Now if I could only find someone to make it for me... (I'm allergic to cooking, you know.)

Pam said...

I love the added currants. What a bowl full of delicious flavors and textures.

Marjie said...

Remember when Ryan found me the book on how to repair foods at the library book sale last spring? Well, under eggplant it says these repairs won't work if you're one of those people who think the only good use for eggplant is encasing it in concrete and tossing it in the river. I guess you're no longer one of those people? It is a nice looking dish with your fancy pasta!

Grace said...

so, what’re two things I’ve never had in a pasta dish? you guessed it—capers and currants. i know i love crunchy pine nuts and toothy eggplant, and the idea of tossing in something salty and something sweet pretty much makes a perfect dish, doesn’t it? bravo.

Mari at Once Upon a Plate said...

This looks SOO good! Thank you for sharing the recipe, I know we'll love that salty-sweet play from the capers and currants. This must go on our menu, soon! :)

maybelles mom said...

i love egplant and dried fruit. and yes i believe you currants are the dried version of the ones from my cheesecake.

Chef Fresco said...

Haha, I agree, it does take the right ingredients to make eggplant delicious. I think you did it with the fresh basil and pine nuts!

Debinhawaii said...

What a great combination of ingredients and flavors. I have only developed my liking/almost more eggplant i the last few years before then I didn't like it at all!

5 Star Foodie said...

That is a delicious pasta dish! I love your addition of currants here! yum!

lydiatheperfectpantry said...

I'm not super-crazy about eggplant, either. But I've had good luck with recipes from this cookbook, so maybe I'll give it a try.

Lisa said...

What an interesting recipe. I am challenged by eggplant too. I'll have to try this.

Psychgrad said...

You don't like eggplant?!? Well, if there were a dish to change your mind, it would be this one. It looks like a great combination of flavours.

Thanks for participating in this week's Presto Pasta Nights!

Ruth Daniels said...

I DO love eggplant, but my husband is not a big fan.

This sounds like a dish even he would love.

Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

The Food Hunter said...

I love eggplant. I will have to give this a try for sure.