My vegetable garden has been neglected this summer. Not having a kitchen for almost 3 months, it was hard for me to be motivated and plan meals around my fresh produce. But that is all changing, and just in time to make good use of the deluge of tomatoes, peppers and eggplants from my garden.
I found four eggplant, peppers, and have a bumper crop of TOMATOES! Can you believe the size of that yellow tomato? It weighs 1.75 pounds!
I happily spent the day in my new, almost completed kitchen, trying to make sense of the massive amounts of vegetables piled high on the table.
I roasted sweet bell peppers and eggplant to combine with fresh tomato sauce for the pasta dish. Tomatoes were peeled and chopped for Bruschetta Rossa.
Cheese was grated.
Wine was poured, and all was served al fresco on the patio. How absolutely wonderful to be cooking again in my kitchen! And this is just the beginning...
Radiatori with Roasted Peppers and Eggplant
adapted from the Union Square Cookbook by Danny Meyer and Michael Romano
• 1 eggplant (about 1 pound), peeled
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 2 large sweet bell peppers
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 4 cups tomato sauce (my favorite recipe here)
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
• 1 pound Radiatori
• 1/2 cup grated ricotta salata cheese
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1. Preheat the broiler. Cook the peppers under the broiler until their skins blacken, turning every few minutes to color evenly. Place charred peppers in a tightly closed paper bag. Peel off the skins, discard the seeds and cut into a 1/2-inch dice. Set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
3. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, then slice each half lengthwise into thirds. Keep the slices together to retain the original shape of the eggplant (this step helps keep the eggplant from drying out during baking). Slice across the eggplant at 1/2-inch intervals. With a wide spatula, carefully lift the cut eggplant onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle eggplant with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast in the oven for 45 minutes. When done, the eggplant should be very tender.
4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt.
5. In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute without browning. Add the roasted eggplant and peppers and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese and bring to a simmer.
7. Cook the pasta until al dente and drain. Spoon pasta into bowls and top with sauce, ricotta salata and chopped basil.
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