Pasta with Eggplant (Brinjal) and Balsamic Vinegar Posted by: | May 21, 2010
 

I am extremely tired right now, after a happening day at work and an intensive workout at my Spinning class today, followed by last minute grocery shopping just before shops closed. Fortunately I did not have to worry about dinner tonight. as I warmed up yesterday’s dinner, which still tasted perfectly. That’s what I do. I cook on Wednesdays, and I save some leftovers for Thursday so I can gobble it down after my Gym. Trust me, it is nauseating, even to me, to cook after a heavy work out.

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This is a really easy dish to make. It’s so simple I almost didn’t wanna make it. But I’m a big fan of eggplants and I’ve been wanting to cook them for a week now (ever since I saw that awesome Eggplant Parmigiana recipe, which I will attempt someday soon). Cooking with Eggplants or Brinjals are always so satisfying as it soaks up the flavors so well and its flesh has an amazing texture. That’s why I always fish for eggplants in an Indian curry. So if you have a bunch of eggplants and only 15 minutes to spare for cooking, this dish is going to blow your mind. I didn’t use the big, firm, dark purple eggplants like most western dishes, but instead I got the long, thin, light purple and slightly soft brinjals at the vege shop downstairs. I’m guessing that is the type of brinjals they use in curry as they seem more slimy.

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Pasta with Eggplant (Brinjal) and Balsamic Vinegar (adapted from “How To Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman)

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INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

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  • 2 small eggplants
  • 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or more if needed)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh or Dried Basil leaves to garnish
  • 1/3 to 1/2 a pack of Pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hot pepper flakes or Paprika powder
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METHOD:

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1. Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes and salt them. Meanwhile, heat a pot of salted water to boil to cook the pasta according to package instructions.

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2. Put the olive oil into a large skillet or a wok (I always make pasta dishes in my wok, as it is great for tossing the ingredients together with the pasta without having half of it falling out of the pan). When hot, add the eggplant, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes until tender, golden and slightly crisp on all sides (stir occasionally). Add the garlic and cook until soft and golden, stirring constantly, for less than a minute. Add the balsamic vinegar and let it cook for 2 – 3 minutes until it is slightly reduced. Add the pepper flakes/paprika and remove from heat.

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3. Drain the pasta that is cooked to tender, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Toss the pasta into the pan/wok with the eggplant sauce. Add a drizzle of olive oil and the cheese. Mix until well combined and season more with salt and pepper to taste. Add a bit of the pasta water to smoothen out the sauce. Garnish with basil and serve.

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Voila. a yummy, fresh vegetarian pasta with the complex flavours of Balsamic Vinegar, which is very well absorbed into the eggplants. It’s the first time I used balsamic vinegar to cook pasta, and I wonder why I hadn’t done it earlier. It makes perfect sense.

 

One Response to “Pasta with Eggplant (Brinjal) and Balsamic Vinegar”

  1. Parveen Choudhary says:

    Thanks, this is something what i was looking for my brunch. I have replaced vinegar with tomatos ketchup.

    Parveen

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