I don’t know about you, but I can’t resist those 10 for $10 deals in the grocery store. Even if I don’t need the item or have any plans to cook with it, I feel a strong urge to snap up all 10 avocados, 10 kumquats, or 10 cans of spaghetti sauce. It’s good shopping economics, right?! Buying something because it’s on sale… I’m going with it! Well, that’s sort of how this dinner came about. Today’s special was 10 for $10 eggplants. Those purple, slightly odd-lookng vegetables are so cute, aren’t they!? I just had to buy one!
Instead of making my stand-by Eggplant Parmesan, I decided to make a chunky sauce out of my violent treasure. Problem is, eggplant is not exactly a crowd pleaser. Lets just say… my attempt at cooking eggplant for an old college flame… went down in flames… I’m talking a break-up worthy meal! So, I was hesitant about cooking it for my husband. To my relief, he actually liked it! Yay!
I love this recipe because the sauce is so chunky and full of yummy fresh vegetables and basil. Eggplant may be the star, but the heart is the tomato! Pomodoro means tomato in Italian! Since this is an Italian dish, there’s no better tomato to use than the San Marzano plum tomato. I used the canned version and diced up the tomatoes into smaller pieces then used the juice as my sauce base. We cooked up a heaping bowl of angel hair pasta and just pigged out!
If you’ve never tried eggplant before, trust me, it’s really not that scary. A funny name for a beautiful vegetable! What have you got to loose… especially when they’re only a dollar a piece!
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 small chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can San Marzano tomatoes (I diced them)
1/3 cup mushrooms
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of dry red wine
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, (optional)
12 ounces whole-wheat angel hair pasta
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1. In a large skillet, cook chicken breasts thoroughly. Remove from skillet, let rest and set aside.
2. Warm oil in skillet. Add eggplant pieces. Stir and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
3. Add garlic to skillet and cook 1 minute (I used an olive oil infused with garlic, so I left this step out)
4. Add tomato, mushrooms, vinegar, wine, salt, pepper, red pepper and stir until tomatoes break down – about 5 to 7 minutes. Cut chicken into small chunks and add to sauce in skillet. Turn down to low heat.
5. Cook pasta in salted, boiling water until al dente. Drain.
6. In a serving bowl, spoon sauce over pasta, top with chopped basil and fresh grated parmesan cheese.
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