Thursday, January 25, 2007

pasta with easy norma

I realize the name of this dish sounds like a lunch date with the slightly skanky girl you knew in high school. And although it takes a tad longer than I'd like (starving as always, I had to eat peanut butter Puffins in order to survive the cooking process), it's super simple. And as a big plus, it gave me something different to do with the eggplant I got in my box of organic vegetables last week. From On Top of Spaghetti by Johanne Killeen and George Germon, who own Al Forno in Providence.

Pasta with Easy Norma (slightly adjusted from original recipe)

Into a biggish saucepan: lots of chopped onions (I used two smallish ones), 3 cups tomato juice (preferably organic), one cup water.

Cover, bring to a boil, turn down the heat, simmer covered for 10 minutes.

Then add: 4-ish cups eggplant, unpeeled, cut in cubes (I used one medium-sized one). 1/4 cup olive oil. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional). Salt.

Cover, bring to a boil, turn down heat, simmer covered for 40 minutes.

If it still seems too thin, turn the heat up, take the cover off, and hang out with it, stirring constantly, until it seems thicker. Mine took a little bit of stirring, but it really did end up with lovely, silky bits of eggplant in a nice thick sauce. And I don't even like tomato juice!

The recipe wants you to serve this with penne, but I used whole wheat rotini and I think I've survived.

(Stayed tuned next week for the recipe for the molasses sugar cookies I made for several football fans last Sunday.)

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