All recipes paired with wine, Pasta, Veggies based & Vegetarian

Vermicelli con melanzana


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.

I had the guts to serve this sauce for a couple of Italian friends. Their wives are very good, traditional Italian cooks. I made it nice and hot since I knew they like it hot. Pretty fresh, isn’t it? When they asked for a second serving, I knew I had a winner…

Vermicelli con melanzana

Ingredients:
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

Clean an eggplant and cut it into a 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle each slice with salt and let it sweat in a calender. In the meantime heat olive oil in heavy duty pan, add chili (or red flakes) and slices of garlic. Don’t worry about the heat. The eggplant absorbs most of it.

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.

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