Robust End-of-the-Summer Campanelle Pasta served with Garlic Market Bread

30 08 2009
End-of-the-Summer Sauce

End-of-the-Summer Sauce

This one was much harder to get a good photo of it than it was to taste it! I should have left out the garlic bread in the picture and I think it would have done so much more justice to it.  So why does it need more justice? Eggplant.

This was a time intensive but relatively simple recipe.  It started off with roasting eggplant and peppers in the oven.  For once the peppers actually worked really well and I got 4 pepper halve with their skin nicely removed and their flesh in tact.  The eggplant on the other hand was a little more… finicky. As in a piece of eggplant only caught fire once! The sous chef was doing a great job of peeling, slicing, and roasting the 3 different kinds of eggplant we got today until we forgot to check it while it was roasting on the first side. Some of the eggplant coins got a little blackened but not to bad.  Then she flipped ’em and we forgot again.  The next time the oven opened the sous chef found one of the smallest pieces on fire and smoldering in the oven! So she pulled them out and we lost of a few to the great eggplant fire of 2009. 

Anyway, enough about fire lets talk about oil. So the assembly of the sauce got started with some olive oil, onions, the roasted peppers, garlic, and parsley being sauteed for 5 minutes or so.  Then into the pot went the broiled eggplant that had been sliced up, 2 lbs of roma tomatoes I actually peeled and diced (but did not de-seed), and a 1/2 cup of water. Some salt and pepper and 1 Tablespoon of capers jumped in there too. The next 30 minutes while it focused on reducing to a nice sauce I concentrated on stirring it to make sure it didn’t burn.  I think we both succeeded pretty dern well.

The other 1/2 of the equation was the pasta: which one to use. I had originally intended to use some leaf shaped pasta I had bought months ago but I couldn’t find it anywhere when it came time to use it.  We don’t remember using it but have NO idea where it is.  The next obvious option is spaghetti as we both had some and it was what the recipe called for but I’m not a fan of spaghetti in general.  So eventually we decided to do the grocery store and get something else, but what? It took us a long time but we eventually settle on campanelle. It was large and curly enough to hold some significant sauce but wasn’t colored.  I’ve never cooked with it but I really liked it.

But how did it turn out? Great! The taste was very bold and strong. The texture was very thick but not chunky I was quite surprised.  I used roma tomatoes which have a firm flesh and I was a bit concerned they wouldn’t release enough juice to really boil down into a sauce but the eggplant had a surprise up its sleeve.  The tomatoes boiled down but so did the eggplant.  Usually tomatoes sauces get soupier before they get thick again but not this time. It went from chunky tomatoes and eggplant to nice and smooth but thick sauce that was delicious! Go eggplant!

And what about that garlic bread? We used a loaf of some sort of Rosemary Sourdough we bought last week for a sandwich we haven’t made yet. So we got a new loaf for the sandwich and used this bread as the base for a very tasty garlic bread.

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