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Dinner Tonight: Bucatini with Eggplant

Actually, there's a lot more going on than just eggplant in this pasta, but I couldn't figure out what to call this thing. I found the recipe in Vegetable Love by Barbara Kafka, who calls this dish, somewhat awkwardly, "pasta with hidden-depth eggplant." But that still discounts the role of garlic, capers, anchovies, red wine, and red wine vinegar in the process. It's close to a pasta alla puttanesca, but much less brash. It's far more comforting, and a nearly perfect cold weather pasta.

The only time-consuming part is roasting the eggplant. Kafka said it would take nearly an hour and a half. I solved that dilemma by slightly increasing the heat and using a medium-sized eggplant instead of those honking purple footballs. It worked. Mine was done in 45 minutes, and tasted incredible. And no, I did not forget to write in salt. Though I'm a firm believer that salt makes everything taste better, the capers and anchovies get the job done well enough.

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is a freelance writer in Chicago. He is the co-founder of The Paupered Chef and spends most of his time playing with the new cooking gadgets he got from his wedding.

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