In Liguria, Italy (which is in the cuff of the Italian boot bordering France), there are many interesting culinary traditions. One is that they boil vegetables in their pasta water, serving everything together in one vegetarian feast.
Before harvesting our eggplants tonight, I had a look online for some eggplant pasta sauces and found a Liguarian one that looked interesting. I adapted it a little bit and came up with this recipe. In addition to being delicious, it has the bonus of needing only one pot of boiling water and 10 minutes of cooking time on a hot summer evening…
Eggplant & Pesto Gnocchi
2 small eggplants
500 g gnocchi (commercial or homemade)
21 green beans
4 Tbsp basil pesto
Parmesan cheese to taste
3 sprigs basil
Put the pesto in a large bowl, ready to be mixed with the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the eggplant and beans into bite sized pieces. Drop into the boiling water. In about 6 minutes, or when the vegetables are just starting to soften, add the gnocchi. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the pasta is cooked. Remove the pasta and vegetables and mix together with the pesto, adding a bit of cooking water as needed for texture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh basil leaves.
Note: our homegrown Japanese eggplant have thin skins. If you are using a thicker skinned eggplant, you may wish to peel it before boiling.Posted by kuri at August 19, 2008 09:39 PM