Friday, April 9, 2010

Mediterranean Pasta

I always have a lot of veggies in the house.  Both my husband and I love vegetables.  To save time during the week, I will often cook them ahead of time (either by roasting or sauteing) so they are ready to heat up and use in salads, sandwiches, omelets and pasta.  This week I had  eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes which I thought would be a perfect pasta combination.  Throw in some olives and feta, and you got yourself what I call Mediterranean Pasta.

Mediterranean Pasta 
serves 4 
Olive oil
1/2-1 eggplant, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
Salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes to taste
1/2 cup Greek olives, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2-3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Herbs - I used fresh basil and parsley, but oregano and dill would be good too
8 oz pasta (I used multigrain penne)
Crumbled or shredded cheese - I think feta would be best, but I used fresh mozzarella since it is what I had on hand.

Heat oil in pan.  Add eggplant and zucchini; add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and saute. Add a little more oil or even some water to keep the pan from drying out.  Cover.
When soft, add olives, pine nuts, tomatoes and a little more salt.  Mix in with other veggies.  Add some herbs.  
[This part can be done ahead of time and kept refrigerated for a couple days until you are ready to prepare the pasta.  Reheat in pan while pasta is cooking].
Bring large pot of water to boil.  Add pasta and cook al dente according to package directions.  Drain pasta, but reserve a ladle or two of the pasta water to add to the sauce if needed. 
Add pasta to pan with the veggies. Stir to combine, adding some pasta water if needed to thin out the sauce.  Add cheese and combine.

Best of all, this dish is mega-healthy.  The vegetable-pasta ratio is about half and half.

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