Sunday, September 16, 2007

Happy Surprise

I've never cooked with shallots before, because I always thought they were to expensive and tasted just like onions and garlic--which I use in everything anyway. But the other day, my sister Lisa and I went to the Chinese market in Sandy (amazing place!) and they had shallots for cheap so I thought I'd try them out. Now, I think, they are one of my favorite ingredients for pasta. Amazing flavor!

Shallot, Eggplant, and Fresh Tomato Pasta

1 Japanese eggplant*, diced
4-5 small tomatoes (I always use campari tomatoes from Costco), quartered
1/2 lb pasta (spaghetti or linguine would be best)
1/2 medium onion, diced small
4 shallots, diced small
3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
about 1/4 C olive oil
1 lime
S&P to taste

*Japanese eggplant is a lot smaller and the the flesh is much creamier and less bitter. And you don't have to peel it. It's very rich and absorbs flavor very well, and I think it's a perfect compliment for this dish.
  1. Cook pasta to al dente, as directed. Drain and put to the side.
  2. Place a deep frying pan on medium heat, put in about 3-4 T of olive oil and heat though. Add onions and shallots, and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and keep cooking until slightly browned. Add eggplant and cook until eggplant is cooked through. The onions, garlic, and shallots should be medium brown (but not burned) at this point.
  3. Toss in the cooked pasta, and stir so all ingredients are well incorporated. Add juice of 1/2 a lime, and add the rest of the olive oil. Heat through.
  4. Take off the heat and add the tomatoes and the juice of the other half of a lime.
  5. Toss and serve.
Because the shallots and eggplant have such rich flavors, I really like the fresh tomatoes and the slight citrus flavor of the lime to compliment the dish. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the mellow but rich flavors. I was very pleasantly surprised.


Lisa Allen said...

Oh, that looks so good! I love anything with eggplant in it. How creative that you used lime juice!

Katie said...

I recently discovered shallots too! They are so delicious. Your blog is neato! Hey, I know I've been badgering you about this for a while, but could you put that tomato sauce recipe on here. It's glorious!