Sunday, August 22, 2010

Let-My-Eggplant-Go-Free Spaghetti

From: The Wednesday Chef

1 pound eggplant, cut into ½ inch slices
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
2 springs thyme or oregano, chopped
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoons sun-dried or oven-dried tomatoes, minced
6 leaves basil, sliced thinly
Salt and pepper
1 pound spaghetti

1. Lightly salt the slices of eggplant, stack them back together and let sit for 20 minutes.

2. Put the olive oil in a wide, heavy saucepan, add the garlic cloves, and set over low heat.

3. Dry off the eggplant, cut it into chunks. When you start hearing the garlic sizzle a little and can smell it, drop in your eggplant and stir to coat it all with oil. Turn up the heat a little bit to medium high and add the thyme or oregano and stir. When the eggplant is turning translucent and softening, add the liquid, let it come to a boil, and turn it back down to medium-low. Let it bubble for a bit and cover it, leaving a crack for steam to escape. Stir once in a while so that the bottom doesn’t stick.

4. After about 20 minutes or so, the liquid in the eggplant pan should be mostly evaporated and the eggplant should be soft and melting. Mash it with a fork or spoon, and adjust the seasoning to taste. (My eggplant didn't break down like the Wednesday Chef's did, so I used a potato masher on it to help it along. In the end mine was still chunkier than the photos, but it was still good.)

5. Toss the eggplant purée with the spaghetti that you cooked al dente. Stir in the minced tomatoes and basil. You can gild the lily with drizzling on some more oil. Serve immediately.

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