Due to some requests that I have found from my readers’ emails, I’m posting the recipe for my eggplant siciliana that I made the other night. 

Now, I have to give props to Ruth Crilly from A Model Recommends, a YouTube web series about, well, what a model recommends. I have been a fan of hers for awhile now due to her down-to-earth personality, and in my opinion, she is naturally gorgeous. Her recipe inspired me to do my own take on the simple pasta dish.

Here’s a link to her showing how to cook the dish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPeIM8VK6Q4

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Serves 2.

Herbs Mix:

(all 1/4-1/2 teaspoon)

Herbs de Provence

Dried Mexican Oregano

Dried Parsley

Pepper/Sea Salt

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

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Homemade Marinara Sauce:

Four minced garlic cloves

Crushed Tomatoes (1 can)

Tomato Paste (1 teaspoon)

Water (about 1/2 cup, depends on your desired consistency. I like mine a little chunky still)

Pinot Noir or Merlot Red (1/4 of a cup)

Rest of the Ingredients:

Gluten-Free Corn Penne Pasta (seen at Trader Joe’s/any Whole Foods market) (1/2 of the bag)

Crumbled Feta Cheese or Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella (Trader Joe’s or a near deli)

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Arugula & Spinach

Medium-size eggplant (cut into slices, then quartered)

How-To:

1. Boil water for pasta.

2. Thoroughly mix herbs in a small bowl.

3. Heat a medium-sized saucepan with about 2 tbsps. of olive oil. The oil should be slightly rippling before you add the ingredients.

4. Add half of  the garlic into the oil and saute for about 3 minutes. The garlic should be a little bit browned but not so much that they are fried.

5. Add the eggplant into the pan and cook until the outside is a dark purple, and the inside is still a little hard. You do not want soggy eggplants for this recipe. Set aside to cool.

6. By this time, the water should be boiling, so add some salt, and the pasta. Cook for about 10-11 minutes. The pasta should have a little bite to it still (al dente).  After it is done, drain the pasta and transfer to a big bowl.

7. In another medium-sized pan, add two tbsps. of olive oil into medium heat. When the oil is hot to touch (yes, I know, I touch my oil to see how hot it is. Very dangerous, but I’ve been doing it for awhile now. Making sure oil is hot is safer by checking with your palm and hovering it above the oil), then add the rest of the garlic.

8. When the garlic browns, add half of the can of crushed whole tomatoes with the tomato paste. Go ahead and add the herb mix and wine into the sauce as well.

9. Cook the sauce in medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

10. While this is happening, mix the arugula or spinach (whichever is your preference), with a simple balsamic vinaigrette (olive oil + balsamic vinegar) in a salad bowl. This would be great with homemade croutons, sliced red onions, and some sweet peppers ( I like to roast mine before serving).

11. After 20 minutes, add the eggplant mixture into the marinara sauce. Mix thoroughly and transfer to the big pasta bowl. Place pieces of mozzarella or feta cheese on top. Serve hot.

xx,

NathalieApple

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