Monday, April 17, 2017

A changing of the seasons - and a pasta sauce

We went to Olympic National park for Spring break. 2 full days. For once, I was the one that was the early bird. I got to go the beach before anyone else was up and experience the beauty and the tranquility in blissful solitude. It was magical. The photos are from my phone - nothing fancy but something that brings back the feeling of the moment.

 We hit three different beach sites - Beach 3, BEach 4 and Ruby beach and also went to the Hoh Rain forest.
Most people visit the park from the Port Angeles entrance- we visited from the East entrance and got to see a very different side of the park.

We stayed in the park - Kalaloch Lodge. The location is fantastic; right by the beach. The food - not so great. I wished I had planned a wee bit and loaded our camp stove in the van. It made me long for this pasta that I had put together a few weeks ago.

Here is the recipe. .. And if you do happen to scroll to the end, I would be grateful if you could answer the short question.

Pasta with  an Eggplant sauce.
inspired by 'Ikra' at the Los Angeles farmers market

1 lb of dried short pasta
1 large eggplant
1 red onion
6 Roma tomatoes
1/2 tsp of cumin + more to taste
1/2 tsp of Sumac
2 tsp of  Harissa - more or less depending on how spicy you want it.
1/4 cup Olive oil

Roast the eggplant -if you have a gas burner, place directly on the grill and turn the flame up to medium high. Roast till the skin blackens and then turn and roast on the other side. It takes a total of 10 - 15 minutes depending on the size of the eggplant.
If you don't have a gas stove.. Prick the eggplant and place in the  oven and broil. Rotate till all sides are evenly roasted. A toasted oven works really well.
Put the roasted eggplant in a bowl and cover with a plate or a dish towel and let it steam.

Heat water in a large stockpot (I use a pot that holds a gallon).
While water is boiling; dice the onion. Heat the Olive oil over in a large shallow pot over a medium flame. Saute the onions until they brown and become limp.

When the water boils - salt heavily, empty the dried pasta in, give it a good stir and set the timer for the Pasta cooking time indicated on the packet

Once the onions have darkened and softened - add the cumin  and saute briefly until it smells fragrant. Add the tomatoes and salt to taste.

Give the past a stir

Peel the eggplant and roughly chop. Add the chopped eggplant to the tomato mixture and let it cook.

When the timer beeps, turn off the stove and taste the pasta. It should be cooked but still retain a bite. If you feel it needs a bit more softening, let it sit in the pot for a couple of minutes.

Pour a ladleful of pasta water into the eggplant sauce and then drain the pasta.
Season the sauce with harissa and Sumac.Taste. It should taste smoky, tart and a little spicy. Adjust flavors if you have to.

Toss the pasta in, stir and serve immediately.

And a question for you dear readers.. if I published the above recipe in the format below; would it make sense to you?  I often take notes like this and I thought I could get to publishing more often if my words are less. Please do let me know.

Roast whole eggplant
Saute 1 red onion
Add 6 roma tomatoes

cook pasta, add pasta water, toss, eat

1 comment:

  1. Hi there, this makes sense but I prefer the longer version as I like to have detail in my recipes. Cant wait to make trying to go low carb so may use zucchini noodles!
    Love you cousin