Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pasta Primavera

This is just one of my "throw-together" meals.  I saw some beautiful organic zucchini at the grocery yesterday morning so I knew right then what I would be making for dinner.  This dish just screams "Spring" to me.  I am one of those people that loves eggplant, I never met one I didn't like.  If you don't love it like I do then just leave it out.  You could add sliced carrots, mushrooms, asparagus.....whatever you want!

Pasta Primavera

1-2 small zucchini, sliced in half and cut into cubes
1 small to medium onion, peeled, halved, and sliced thin
1 small eggplant, cut into small cubes
1/4 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
(other addtions could include:  yellow squash, asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, etc.)
2-4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound pasta (spaghetti, linguini, ...whatever you like) cooked as per package instructions
4-6 basil leaves, chiffonade or just torn into pieces
freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano to taste
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cook pasta in salted, boiling water while you cook the other ingredients.  Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a large frying pan or saute' pan.  Saute' onion for about 5 minutes until they begin to caramelize and turn golden brown.  Add a couple more tablespoon oil and add eggplant and about a teaspoon of salt --saute for another 5-7 minutes until eggplant is softened and caramelized a little.  Add the zucchini and tomatoes and saute for only a couple more minutes.  The zucchini should still be crisp-tender.  Taste to see how much seasoning is needed and add salt and pepper to taste.  Toss all the vegetables in a large bowl with pasta.  Add basil and Parmigiano Reggiano --as much as you like!

The eggplant should really be cut half as small --they will caramelize faster.  Also, you don't need to use as much as I did --I just really love eggplant.  You could also peel it if you don't like the skin --I prefer the skin on.