Monday, April 25, 2011

Meatless Monday: Roasted Radicchio and Eggplant Pasta

This was one of those "everything but the kitchen sink" kind of dishes. I had a plethora of veggies on hand and I needed to get rid of them fast--before they spoiled. Plus, I had radicchio--a veggie I had never cooked with before, so I started googling some recipes and found a ridiculous amount of delicious ideas. I threw a few of them together and came up with this.

Roasted Radicchio and Eggplant Pasta

1 box of pasta (I used penne, but any kind of small noodle will work)
1 leek, sliced
1/4 stick of butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 medium-large tomatoes
1 eggplant
balsamic vinegar (just a drizzle)
olive oil
1 head of radicchio
1 bunch of chard
2 cups fresh spinach
fresh parmesan (optional)
fresh basil (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400*.

2. Slice the eggplant lengthwise and place cut-side down on a lightly olive-oiled pan or baking stone. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the skin starts to look wrinkled.

3. Cut the radicchio into quarters and remove the thick white core/stem. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper lightly. After about 10 minutes of the eggplant roasting, add the radicchio to the pan so they will finish cooking at the same time. Radicchio will start to look crispy and browned on the edges of the leaves when done.

4. While the veggies are roasting, heat some olive oil and the butter in a large skillet. Toss in the leeks and garlic and sautee until translucent.

5. Core and coarsely chop the tomatoes and add them to the skillet. Cook for a few more minutes over medium heat and then lower heat to simmer, cover pan and let the tomatoes cook down. Stir occasionally to help the tomatoes break down.

6. Put the pasta on to boil. When done, remove from heat, drain and set aside.

7. In another skillet, heat some olive oil and begin to cook the chard stems. After 3-4 minutes, add the chard and spinach leaves and cook until wilted (4-5 minutes more). 

8. Everything should be done cooking. Chop up the eggplant and radicchio into chunks when it comes out of the oven and mix with the chard and spinach.

9. Scoop some pasta on to a plate. Top with the tomato sauce, then veggies and finally sprinkle with fresh basil and parmesan.

Note: this is a wonderful light spring pasta dish. The tomato sauce coats the pasta without the heaviness of a typical marinara.

Another Note on Radicchio: the white leaves are much more bitter, while the red ones are sweeter. I liked the combination of tastes, but Mr. Foodwhore was not a fan of the bitterness, especially without a warning. Feel free to omit more of the white pieces if you aren't a fan of the flavor. It's easy enough to pull some out when chopping the radicchio.

Bon Appetit!
The Food Whore

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