Friday, February 24, 2006

Day 25 - Macaroni Cheese and something just for Blackbird

Blackbird had a meal as show and tell this week, I simply deferred her to this site as my contribution. But then felt slack and offered a pasta recipe I would normally turn my nose up to had I not seen Jamie cooking it on TV and it looking sublime. Yes, another Jamie Oliver recipe but adapted to not have the fancy name or tasteless, stringy mozzarella...

Rigatoni w/ tomatoes, eggplant and bocconcini
500g rigatoni

1 firm, ripe eggplant cut into 1cm dice sized pieces
extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smooshed
1 onion, finely chopped
2x400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 tblsp balsamic vinegar
bunch of fresh basil - stalks sliced, leaves ripped
4 tblsp double cream
200g bocconcini, or mozzarella

Heat a few big glugs of oil in a frypan
Add eggplant and stir as you do so it all gets coated with oil
Cook for about 8 minutes
Add onion and garlic and cook until they start to colour
Add balsamic, tomatoes and basil stalks
Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
(You can add some crumbled up dried chillies at this stage)

Simmer for around 15 minutes
Cook the pasta during this simmer stage

Drain pasta (at this stage, Jamie 'dresses' the pasta with some of its cooking water and a drizzle of oil - while this is, naturally, delicious, I hardly ever bother)
Add cream to sauce
By this stage, the eggplant is reduced to this tomatoey, creamy pulpy sauce that is simply divine. No big chuncks of eggplant to gag on, no bitterness, just this kind of infused flavour.
Add pasta to sauce
Stir through bocconcini and basil leaves for the leaves to wilt and the cheese to start melting.
Serve w/ freshly grated parmesan


But tonight, as Chef got carried away making bechamel for the lasagne earlier in the week, we're having macaroni cheese. Hardly the most nutritious of dinners, but in light of my chronically crying state, highly suitable. He's even added some leg ham, off the bone, from Christmas that I had stored in the freezer.


Blogger blackbird said...

It does sound delicious -
and there are some lovely baby eggplants at my market...

your looking at Monday dinner.
can't wait to show you how it turns out!

11:03 pm  
Blogger Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

I've made something like this quite often - but sans cream and with fetta rather than bocconcini. I tend to do it when I just can't resist the eggplants in the shops but have trouble exciting the prof about them!

11:27 am  

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