Monday, November 1, 2010

Steamed Eggplant with Whole Wheat Pasta

You may remember me mentioning my pasta mania from a couple of weekends ago. It didn't end with homemade ravioli, my friends. The next day I declared myself a pasta making expert and decided to try my hand at some simple whole wheat pasta. Then I added some steamed eggplant, pasta sauce, and a slice of provolone and I had a little bowl of heaven. If you make the pasta ahead of time or use store bought, this meal comes together in under 20 minutes. If I liked pasta more, I would make it all the time.

Here's how to make it:

(Serves 4)

For the pasta:

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 eggs
Tbsp olive oil
Garlic powder to taste
Salt & Pepper to taste
Several Tbsp water

For the rest:

1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch thick circles
Pasta sauce (I use the jarred stuff...I know, I know)
4 Slices Provolone

Put all of the pasta ingredients except the water into a bowl and mix it up. Now add the water, a tablespoon full at a time, until the dough starts to come together but isn't too wet--it will look kind of crumbly. I added probably 6 or 7 tablespoons to this recipe. Dump it out on a clean surface, shmoosh it into a ball, and start kneading. Get ready to be bored, because you have to knead that sucker for about 10 minutes, until it's smooth and elastic. Once it looks nice and smooth, form it into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let it sit for at least an hour so that it looses some elasticity and you will be able to roll it out.

When it's ready, cut the ball in half so it's easier to work with, and roll it out as thinly as possible on a floured surface. When you think it can't get any thinner, keep rolling; that's how thin I'm talking. When you're satisfied with the thinness, flour each side of the sheet of dough and then roll it up into a tube. Then cut the tube into 1/4 inch pieces, unroll, and voila, pasta! Repeat with the other half of your dough. 

Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta in 3-4 batches, depending on the size of your pot. I crowded the pot out of hunger and laziness and some of my pastas weren't entirely cooked. Cook those guys for about 5 minutes. Here's what they will look like when they're done:

While the pasta is cooking, put your eggplant in a microwave safe dish with a bit of water and cook for 5 minutes. This will make it nice and soft. Meanwhile, heat some pasta sauce in a pan. 

When all of your ingredients are ready, put a serving of pasta in a bowl, lay a piece of provolone on top, then 3-4 slices of eggplant, and top it all off with the sauce. Here is what you will have: 

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