Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Recipe Week 2 .3

Eggplant is my new favorite veggie. You might be like the girl at Wal-Mark who was ringing up Tom's groceries and asked, "What'ca do with this?"

One of my favorite ways to eat egplant is to slice it up into chunks, add some olive oil and sea salt, also add some grape tomatoes {a fantastic combination}. Bake on 350 for about 22 minutes. So yummy. The sea salt really makes it. Sometimes we've baked the eggplant first for about 15 minutes, and then we'll add the tomatoes later.

Then I found this recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. My aunt gave me this cookbook when I left for college, 9 years ago. I think I'm now only using it regularly, and it's awesome. It contains just about every simple recipe. If you're looking for a good general cookbook, this is the one to get. So, this recipe might seem a little labor intensive, but it's really not. It took us about 30 minutes to get it all together. You could even make your eggplant, pesto, and onions in advance to speed up the process.

Rigatoni and Eggplant with Dried Tomato Pesto

1 medium onion, cut into 8 wedges {or really you could cut it up into smaller pieces}
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium eggplant, halved lengthwise
1/3 recipe dried tomato pesto
6 oz dried rigatoni, penne, or fusilli {we used the rigatoni - and used a bit more than 6 oz}
1/4 teaspon coursely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese or feta {optional - we used goat cheese.....mmmmm!}

Place onion wedges in a large shallow baking pan; brush with 1 tbs olive oil. Roast onion at 425 F for 10 min. Then stir.

Brush eggplant halves with the remaining 1 tbs oil. Place eggplant in pan, flat side down. Rotate 15 min. more or until onion is golden brown & eggplant is tender.

Meanwhile: cook pasta according to package diretions. Drain. Add sun-dried tomato pesto and pepper to pasta. Stir. Transfer pasta to a warm dish {keep warm until ready to serve}.

Cut eggplant into slices. Gently stir onion and eggplant into pasta; season to taste with salt. If desired, top with goat or fetta cheese. Serve!

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
Sun-dried Tomatoes
1/4 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds
1/4 cup snipped fresh basil {I used about double this}
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cloves garlic

Drain 3/4 cup oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, reserving oil. Add enough olive oil to make 1/2 cup; set aside. {in English terms - separate the sundried tomatoes from the sundried tomato oil - then add olive oil to the tomato oil to total 1/2 cup of oil}.

Place tomatoes, pine nuts, basil, salt, adn garlic cloves in a food processor or blender.

Cover and blend. While machine is running, gradually add the 1/2 cup oil, processing until almost smooth. {You can even add a little bit more olive oil if it's looking a little dry}.

Divide pesto into thirds. You can chill for up to 4 days in the fridge, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Makes approximately three 1/3 cup portions.

We just eyed how much pesto we added to the pasta - and it was soooo yummy! {This is my favorite pesto ever.} Then we used the rest to make pizza - and that was oh so good on pizza as well.

ANNNND: Here is my new design! I'm excited to introduce a new pattern to my little shop. They'll be in there for your purchasing pleasure tomorrow.

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