24 June 2007

Spaghetti with Eggplant & Goat Cheese

Oia, Santorini, Greece
After the beach yesterday I decided to go vegetarian and have a nice light pasta dish for supper. This is one of my favourites. It is quick, easy and flavourful. At the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning I purchased some nice eggplants from the greenhouses.

Growing up in a British family I just realized I have gone back to my roots and called dinner "supper", because here in Canada they do not have supper. Dinner for my parents is at lunch time. I remember when I was young and they invited friends for Sunday dinner, had it all ready by noon, and the friends showed up at 5:00.

It is very European to have dinner after 9:00, or, as in Greece after 10:00 but I am in bed by then!! Oprah says I cannot eat anything 3 hours before I go to bed, so, I have to stop eating at 6:00. Quite easy for me to do really, except when I go out.

Photo was taken in the town of Oia on the island of Santorini, Greece.

**Spaghetti with Eggplant and Goat Cheese**

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 cans (each 28-oz) diced tomatoes
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil
2 large eggplants (each about 1 lb)
12 oz spaghetti (475 ml)
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

In large saucepan, heat 1 T oil over medium heat; fry garlic just until golden, about 3 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, 1/2 tsp of the salt, pepper and 1 large basil leaf;bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened and mixture can mound on spoon, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, shred remaining basil; set aside.

Meanwhile, cut eggplant into 1-inch cubes; toss with remaining salt. Let stand in colander in sink until moisture is released, about 20 minutes. Pat eggplant, dry, wiping off salt.

In skillet, heat remaining oil until hot but not smoking. In batches , fry eggplant until golden brown, about 4 minutes. With slotted spoon, remove to paper towel-lined tray.

Meanwhile, in saucepan of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package directions, until tender but firm, about 10 minutes; drain and return to pot. Add tomato sauce and half each of the eggplant and shredded basil; toss to coat. Pour into large serving dish; sprinkle with cheese and remaining eggplant and basil. Toss to serve.

Serves 4 - 6

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