And I didn’t care.
*When I discovered there actually are raisins in it…odd that I didn’t seem to wonder about them before now…but they all hide in the bottom quarter of the tub!
One more than one occasion I have woken up at 3:00AM, hungry, and craved nothing by cold kabocha (surprise, surprise?) eaten directly from the fridge.
And whose to say why, but despite bringing a very well thought out lunch, I ended up eating pasta with an impromptu sauce of nutritional yeast and water, heated in the microwave because it was the only thing I wanted. (And I kind of want it again right now.)
If you haven’t figured it out, I pretty much eat based on my ever-changing cravings. (God help the man who lives with me when/if I ever am a pregnant woman!) It was the random passage of “I could really go for some eggplant…and tomatoes(!) right now…” through my mind that led to the delicious creation that is this:From eggplant, I thought of caponata…and immediately rushed to the store for a new jar of capers. After all, you can’t have caponata without capers. [I decided I could have it without raisins or parsley or anything else they told me I might need.]
This Mushroom & Eggplant Caponata Pasta (or “Capon-asta”) is one of the quickest, easiest, and most versatile dishes I’ve ever come up with. You can substitute another veggie for the mushrooms, or add more vegetables or tomatoes if you like a ‘looser’ sauce.Dice up an onion, and get it going on the stove with some minced garlic. (I used pre-minced.) As I rarely cook with oil, I tend to ‘steam’ my onions with a little water in the pan, but you can use a wee bit of olive oil if you like.
Once the aromatics are softened, add in about 4 cups of cubed eggplant (about 1/2 lb.*
*I almost just wrote “about 1/2 of a 1 lb. eggplant” and then did the math
I had a bunch of mushrooms in the fridge (they are a constant craving these days), so I chopped up about 2 cups worth and tossed them in the pan, along with about 2 Tbsp. or so of Italian seasoning, some crushed red pepper flakes, a bit of salt, and a lot of pepper.
Let those cook down, adding a bit more water to the pan to help them “steam” if necessary. Once they are pretty much cooked, stir in a can of fire-roasted crushed tomatoes. (I love the Muir Glen ones…I could just eat them in a bowl. And we sell them for only $1.12 at work.)Stir that up, and add in 1 1/2 Tbsp. capers (plus a little of the ‘jar juice’), and a couple of tablespoons of chopped olives if you happen to have some chillin’ out in your fridge.
This is delicious right away, but as with soups and stews, I also like to let it sit for a bit to let the flavors meld, and then reheat it for dinner.Man alive, just looking at these pictures is making me want some more, right now.
1 cup diced sweet onion (about 1/2 medium)
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups cubed eggplant (about 1/2 lb.)
2 cups chopped mushrooms
2-3 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
crushed red pepper
salt + pepper
1 15-oz. can fired-roasted crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 Tbsp. capers
2 Tbsp. chopped olives (optional)
4 oz. spaghetti–or other pasta of your choice–cooked
1. Saute in a wee bit of oil, or steam with a little water, onion and garlic over medium heat in a fairly large saucepan.
2. One onion begins to soften, add eggplant, mushrooms, and seasonings, stirring well to coat. [Add water to the pan if necessary.]
3. Once eggplant and mushrooms are nearly cooked, stir in tomatoes, capers, and olives. Allow to simmer for 5 or so minutes to let the flavors come together…but not so long that the sauce has reduced too much (and is too thick).
4. Serve over pasta!