Eggplant, also called aubergine, or melanzane (in Italian) is so versatile, and by far one of my favorite veggies. I love to make it different ways, and enjoy experimenting with them. This time, I decided to make an eggless and breadcrumb-free eggplant parm, an Italian dish believed to have originated in the Southern part of Italy. The result of this dish is surprisingly delightful. First and foremost, make sure you pick very fresh eggplants, preferably on the day you are cooking them. I realize that it’s not always possible in today’s busy lives. If that’s the case, get it a day or two before cooking it. You do not want an eggplant that’s been sitting in your veggie bin for 2 weeks. I assure you, that will make a world of difference. You want to look for an eggplant that is smooth, without any bruises, and firm to the touch. Parmigiana is a style/method of cooking, using tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.
2 large eggplant cut lengthwise
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Lots of olive oil ( make sure you have a full bottle on hand)
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1-2 basil leaves
1 container chopped tomatoes 26.46 oz. Pomi brand
1/2 jar of Mid’s sauce or (about 16 oz of your favorite meatless tomato sauce)
12 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
Parmigiano Reggiano, Parmesan cheese to taste
Preparation: 1) Season the eggplant with salt and pepper, let them sit for 10 minutes. Place on a metal tray, drizzle them with olive oil and broil for about 7-8 minutes on each side. Do this in 2 batches. Set aside.
2) Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
3) In the meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, on medium-heat, heat 1-2 tbsp. olive oil. Sautee the garlic for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce, basil. Bring to a boil and simmer on low for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Turn the burner off and set aside. Cover to keep it warm.
4) Time to start mounting the eggplant as if you are making a lasagna. Smear some sauce on the bottom of a large glass casserole (Pyrex) pan, line up the eggplant (as shown on my photo) top with sauce, mozzarella cheese and parmesan. Repeat once more and finish with mozzarella. Cover with foil.
5) Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Uncover, and broil for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven. Let it sit for 10 minutes before cutting. Use a spatula. Hope you will try this delicious version of Eggplant Parmigiana. It has no breadcrumbs and no eggs. However, it will soak up some olive oil (which is healthy, but beware of calories)
As you know by now, I love eating pasta. It is definitely my favorite starch and one of the most versatile food to prepare. For us South Floridian, it feels like summer already but for most of you, it’s still springtime. The flowers are blooming, and some veggies are in season. It’s Pasta Primavera time, a simple pasta dish made with fresh vegetables in a cream sauce. It’s easy and delicious. You can use any pasta shape of your choice, but today I am using a small farfalle. They’re commonly known as bow-tie, and the meaning stands for butterfly in Italian.
Serves: 6-8 as a main meal Level of difficulty: Easy – It takes about 20 minutes from start to finish depending how fast you prep your ingredients.
1) In a large frying pan, on medium-high heat, heat up olive oil. Sautee onions for 2-3 minutes, add the garlic, and sautee until you smell the beautiful aroma. Set aside.
2) Bring the pasta water to a boil. Add a handful of salt, and cook pasta according to package directions. About 5 minutes or so before the time is up, add the asparagus and cook in the same pot to save time. Before draining, reserve 1/2 cup or so of pasta water.
3) Turn the burner back on with the onions and garlic on low, drop the pasta, season with Italian seasoning and black pepper. Add the tomatoes and asparagus. Slowly incorporate the ricotta, pasta water and basil. Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Garnish with some veggies on top to make it enticing. Drizzle with olive oil. Voila! It’s that easy!
Wine pairing suggestions: Verdicchio , Gavi or a Sauvignon Blanc will work beautifully with this spring dish.
You can use a variety of vegetables such as zucchini, green or red bell peppers. The choice is endless. For a more flavorful version, roast the veggies in the oven, however, keep in mind, this recipe is meant to save you time. Put your own twist on it, and make it your signature dish.
A recipe is to be used as a barometer, if you are on a salt-restricted or low-fat diet, cut back on the salt and use a part-skim ricotta cheese.
Happy Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours,
Recipe by Foodiewinelover
Photo by Gina Martino Zarcadoolas for Foodiewinelover
Tis The Season for Butternut Squash! Everyone, including myself, always strive to get the perfect color on roasted butternut squash. I always bake them, but I am never fully satisfied the way they come out. I decided to broil them, and the result was magical. I ran out quickly, and left my son Peter-John in charge. He took over the kitchen, and turned them occasionally. Upon returning home, they were already on the serving dish draining on paper towels. I could not believe how beautiful and colorful they looked in such a short period. If you love your veggies, this delicious and nutritious side dish is for you.
Serves: 3-4 Degree of difficulty: Easy
1 lb. of butternut squash, cubed
Sea salt, and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, de-stemmed, + more for garnish
Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
Place the oven shelf about 11 inches away from the burner. Turn the broiler on high.
2. In the meanwhile, on a flat metal tray, scatter the butternut squash cubes in a single layer. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Drizzle 2-3 times with olive oil. I use an oil bottle spout to give me more control.
3. Place the tray with butternut squash in the broiler. The trick is to turn them occasionally, using a metal spatula (it doesn’t have to be one by one) for about 10 minutes , or until they obtain a golden brown color. Remove from the oven.
4. Layer the bottom of a serving dish with some paper towels to soak up any excess oil, and plate the butternut squash. This step will prevent them from becoming soggy. Serve immediately. This was a lovely accompaniment to a red grouper, but it was so good, that it barely made it to the table.
I hope you will try this recipe in your kitchen, and share your experience with us. Happy Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours!
So in 2016 I turned 50. I was in Italy for my 21st, 30th and 40th. To keep this birthday tradition going I always knew I'd be in Italy for my 50! This blog starts with my 5 week adventure in Puglia but my love affair with Italy continues.....
It's more than LUCK; it's love and comfort in in every POT! More than that it's the words, feelings, fashion and stuff that make this blog a MUST!! More than that the purpose of this blog is to evoke unity and pride through food, words and expression of love to illuminate and motivate.