1 lb good quality dried spaghetti
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium eggplant, cut in 1/2 inch dice
5 medium plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1 medium green pepper, sliced
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Makes 6 servings.
- Fill a large stock pot with
cold water. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to the water
and bring to boil over high heat.
- Meanwhile, peel and cut
eggplant in 1/2 inch dice. Set aside.
- Roughly chop tomatoes and
- Wash and slice mushrooms and
- In large sauté pan or
wok heat oil over medium high heat.
- Add garlic and stir fry until
garlic is fragrant and lightly browned.
Immediately remove to plate and set aside.
- Add the diced eggplant and
sauté until golden brown. It's important
not to move the eggplant around a lot. Remove eggplant to plate with
- Adding a bit more olive oil to
the pan, sauté the sliced green
pepper and scallions until soft and remove to the plate with eggplant.
- Add the mushrooms to the pan
and sauté until light brown in color.
- Add all vegetables from the
plate back into the pan, than add tomatoes,
and chopped thyme.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes until
cooked al dente. Season to taste.
- In the meantime, when the water
boils, add the spaghetti and cook according
to directions on the package. Drain pasta (do not rinse) and transfer
shallow serving bowl.
- Add sauce and toss lightly to
- Garnish with chopped fresh
parsley and serve immediately.
TIP: If the sauce is not ready reserve
the hot water from the pot, cover the pasta with a lid or foil and
place the shallow bowl with pasta over the pot
with hot water to keep it worm.
|Did You Know?
cooking, the Italian expression al dente describes pasta and (less
commonly) rice or beans that have been cooked so as to be firm but not
hard. "Al dente" also describes vegetables that are cooked to the
"tender crisp" phase - still offering resistance to the bite, but
cooked through. It is often considered to be the ideal form of cooked
Keeping the pasta firm is especially important in baked or "al forno"
pasta dishes. The term comes from Italian and means "to the tooth" or
"to the bite", referring to the need to chew the pasta due to its
firmness. The term is also very commonly used as a name for Italian
restaurants around the world.
For cooking rice or pasta to the "al dente" stage you have to find the
midway stage between the under-cooked phase, where rice or dried pasta
stays hard in the middle and where fresh pasta tastes "floury", and the
over-cooked phase, where the dish lacks texture and is considered too
soft. Using plenty of salt helps achieve the "al dente" texture.
Pasta that is cooked al dente has a lower glycemic index than pasta
that is cooked soft.
Perhaps the most common misconception about the term is the idea that
"to the tooth" means the item should stick to the teeth. If pasta
sticks to the teeth when it is being chewed, it is widely considered
The term is also occasionally used in reference to cooking vegetables,
such as green beans or brussels sprouts, though this is often
misunderstood as meaning that instead of being cooked all the way
through, they still have a raw taste to them, generally undesirable in
cooking. It should be interpreted as cooking them just until they lose
their raw taste, as a way to avoid overcooking them.