Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Eggplant and Zucchini Puttanesca

"Puttanesca" is Italian for--well, let's just say that "ladies of the night" made it to attract customers.  So, the sauce is fragrant and tasty!  It could also be served over tilapia, chicken, salmon, or shrimp, with or without the zucchini or eggplant.  (I'd keep them, just for the extra vegetables!)  Also, you can add pasta, but I never do, unless I have guests drop in, and I need extra food in a hurry!  Ha!

4 servings, vegetables only.  6 servings, if you include pasta

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, preferably red, cut into smallish wedges
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1" dice
3 medium zucchinis, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2" pieces  (These are denser than eggplant pieces, so cutting them smaller allows them to cook at about the same rate as the eggplant.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 14.5-oz. cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves, crushed as adding  (or 1 1/2 Tbs. fresh!)
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves, crushed as adding  (or 1 Tbs. fresh!)
1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes (less if you don't like much spice, more if you like it hot!)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 Tbs. capers, drained
2 Tbs. chopped fresh Italian (flat-leafed) parsley (or 1 Tbs. dried parsley)
Grated Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling over the top
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted--I hate olives, so I definitely consider this "optional," although it's a traditional ingredient in this!  Ha!
8 oz. pasta, also optional!

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, and cook the onion until tender, about 8-10 minutes over medium heat.  Add the garlic, and cook until it's tender, too--a couple of minutes.

While it's cooking, add the next tablespoon of olive oil to another large pan.  (I use my soup kettle.)  Add the zucchini, and cook, stirring occasionally, until its browned on a couple of sides.  Add the eggplant, brown it, and add 2 Tbs. water, and cook, covered, until the zucchini and eggplant are tender, about 20-25 minutes.

While this is cooking, go back to your skillet, and add the tomatoes, oregano, thyme, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 or 10 minutes to meld the flavors.  It will also reduce the sauce, so you might need to add a couple of tablespoons of water at the end of this cooking cycle.  Add the capers and olives, if you're using them.  Heat through.  Turn off the heat.

During this cooking time, cook the pasta, if you're using it.  Drain.  Set aside.

Drain the tender zucchini and eggplant.  Pour the sauce over them and toss.

To serve:  place some pasta, if you're using it, on a plate.  Spoon the vegetables and sauce over it.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top.  This is great with spinach, halved cherry tomatoes, red onion slivers, and balsamic vinaigrette!  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. ooo... i am an eggplant super fan! sigh. i want the spicy eggplant sooooo badly right now. with rice.

    Here I bought a sauce pack so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.


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