April 27, 2009

Spicy Eggplant Pasta


Summer came early to Baltimore this weekend and it was in the high 80's for two straight days. I love the nice weather, but direct sunlight and I don't get along. I'm as pale as pale can be and I burn at even the mention of sun. In addition to that, one of my medications clearly states on the bottle "Avoid exposure to direct or artificial sunlight..." so, my pale pasty self stayed inside as much as possible (or at least in a lot of shade). Don't worry, I made good use of my Arbonne self-tanner so I don't scare little children when I put on shorts.


I spent my Saturday painting the powder room and singing really off-key versions of Lady Antebellum and Sugarland. I had stripped off the wallpaper a few weeks ago and finally got my butt in gear to prime and paint it. We chose a really nice bright blue, but I think it might be too bright. I went for the Satin finish and it's well...pretty shiny. I think I need to stare at it some more and get used to it. I'll post pics soon.

Then, after working for about 6 hours straight, I thought it would be a brilliant idea to cook dinner. Did I mention it was nearly 90 degrees? And I had been trapped in a tiny bathroom with paint fumes all day? So then I decided to heat up the small kitchen to a scorching 400 degrees. By the time dinner was done, I was a nice lobster-esque shade of red and totally exhausted. My sister-in-law asked if I had been laying outside and gotten some sun. Nope, nothing nearly as fun as that.

But, this dinner was totally worth it! The eggplant sauce is really spicy and hearty and the feta cheese is a cool compliment. I don't normally go for feta, but it makes this dish. The original recipe on WW tells you to grill the veggies, but I just roast them in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. I also recommend cutting them into bite-sized pieces before roasting so that they roast faster and you don't scorch your fingers trying to cut them when they come out of the oven. I changed that part of the instructions. Serve with some crunchy bread and sangria, like we did, and you've got yourselves a great dinner. No painting necessary.

Ingredients:
1 small eggplant, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 spray cooking spray
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1 medium garlic clove, diced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp black pepper (I use about 1/4 instead for more spice)
2 TBS fresh basil, minced
2 TBS fresh chives, minced (I didn't have this)
1/2 cup fat-free broth (chicken or veggie)
8 oz whole wheat angel hair pasta, cooked and drained
4 oz crumbled feta cheese


Instructions:
Place eggplant and pepper pieces in a grill basket (or place vegetables on a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil with holes poked in it to allow smoke through). Off heat, coat vegetables with cooking spray; season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Place on grill and cook until lightly browned and tender, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, and set aside.

OR

You can roast the vegetables if you prefer. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place vegetables on prepared baking sheet and coat with cooking spray; season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Toss to coat. Roast, until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over low-medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook until slightly pulpy, about 1 minute more. Stir in vegetables, remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper, basil, chives and broth; increase heat to medium-high. Cook until broth is slightly reduced and mixture has a sauce consistency, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add pasta and toss to coat. Stir in cheese just before serving. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving. 4 points per serving.

3 comments:

Joelen said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I would eat this up since I love eggplant!

the happy couple said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

love this! i could get my hubby/carnivore to grill it for me and he could make chicken to add to his (i'm a vegetarian). and i love spicy stuff- yum!

pinkstripes said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

It does sound delicious! Thanks for sharing.