Coming soon, I promise!! I’ll post the recipe for this fantastic pasta dish I made last night. It was so delicious! It’s fettuccine with garlic, roasted eggplant, sauteed broccoli rabe, fresh plum tomatoes, sausages, and pecorino Romano cheese. We both had seconds. Yikes!
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Our wonderful farmer friends, Ethel and Tom, once told me that all the local restaurants that they sell their vegetables to, always oven roast them as their method to cook. Ethel said they all swear that oven roasting brings out the natural sweetness in the most marvelous way.
Now I’ve been a big fan of roasting eggplant, turnips, zucchini, mushrooms, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, all kinds of squash, Brussel sprouts, peppers, and of course potatoes but green beans?
So with my shrimp and pasta dinner the other night, being so tired and exhausted, and wanting to eat quickly, I decided to try it. They were delicious!!! Give it a go!
OVEN ROASTED GREEN BEANS
– serves 3 – 4
1 lb. green beans, washed, cleaned and dried
2 tbs. olive oil
salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Make sure your beans are all dry – use a dish towel if you don’t have time to air dry them. Place in a pile in the center of a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle olive oil on and salt and pepper. Toss well and spread out all across the pan in a single layer. Roast for 20 – 25 minutes until tender. Toss once in the middle of cooking. Enjoy!
Let’s bridge Greece and Italy – or let’s just use up things in my refrigerator that need using! This is fantastic and could be used as a great first course or a main meatless meal.
BUCATINI WITH EGGPLANT, FRESH TOMATOES, SPINACH AND FETA
Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as a first course
1/4 cup olive oil
5 large garlic cloves – peeled and thinly sliced on a mandoline
1 medium eggplant, cut in quarters lengthwise and then sliced 1/4” thick
1.5 lbs. fresh plum tomatoes – about 7, cored and cut into quarters lengthwise and then sliced into 1/4” slices
1/2 bunch or 4 oz. fresh tender spinach leaves, (or baby spinach) stems removed, washed and air-dried
2 oz. Greek feta cheese, cut in 1/4 cubes
1 lb. dried bucatini No 6 pasta or spaghetti or fettucini
Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
Chiffonade of basil to garnish
Prepare the eggplant and salt layers of it in a mesh colander to draw out and drain the bitterness. Use fine sea salt. Let sit while you prepare everything else, the longer the better, but do this for at least 20 minutes.
Prepare the tomatoes and place in a separate large bowl and salt it as well with sea salt, toss with a spatula and let sit. This will intensify the tomato flavor.
Warm the olive oil and sauté the sliced garlic on very low heat for 10 – 15 minutes. Do not let it brown.
Start a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
Cut cheese and slice the basil leaves.
Take paper towels and squeeze and dry the eggplant and add to the skillet with the garlic and olive oil. Raise heat to medium and sauté until the eggplant is fork
tender. When the skillet becomes dry, drain the tomatoes in the same mesh colander and add their juices to the skillet.
Cook the pasta al dente and drain, saving some pasta water, just in case you need a little moisture.
In a large bowl you used for the tomatoes, layer 1/3 pasta, 1/3 fresh tomatoes, 1/3 eggplant mixture, 1/3 spinach, feta cheese and grate some pecorino on each layer. Continue until all is used up, pour in any extra tomato juice and toss and combine. The heat from the pasta and eggplant will warm the tomatoes, wilt the spinach and melt the feta. Garnish with more pecorino and the chiffonade of basil.
I hope you LOVE it!
Finished dish before basil garnish