Let’s be clear. I am not a vegetarian. I love meat too much. But this dish is so good, simple and light – you wouldn’t even realize there is no meat involved! If watching calories, skip Parmesan cheese.
Vermicelli con melanzana
1 bag of favorite spaghetti (cooked according to instructions to al-dente)
1 large eggplant
3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
4 tomatoes (or 1 can of diced tomatoes)
green parsley – 2 cups
1 green chili (or half a tablespoon of red crushed peppers) – optional but really good!
salt and pepper
Parmesan for garnish
Saute quickly. Add diced tomatoes. Cut an eggplant slices, pat dry with napkin, into a small cubes and add to the pan. Stir-fry an eggplant cubes on high heat. Salt and pepper. Turn heat to medium low and cover. Let simmer for 20 minutes or until the eggplant is soft. Add a little bit of water or chicken broth if necessary.
When the eggplant is soft, add a handful of chopped parsley. Stir into eggplant, add salt and pepper if desired and mix with hot spaghetti.Serve immediately garnished with granted Parmesan cheese.
Wine pairing suggestion:
I chose a simple, inexpensive Sangiovese wine from Italian Umbria to pair with this light, refreshing dish. The wine is acidic and light body so it compliments this vegetarian dish perfectly. And, it is available in most places under $7.00 – 8.00 a bottle. Amerini Poggio dei Salici Rosso is a pleasant , uncomplicated table wine.