When I went into the kitchen this morning to prepare my son's snack I found lunch already prepared on the stove-sauteed eggplant and fresh tomatoes...
It reminded me of a recipe that I used to cook often while living in Italy (note to self: I need to prepare this more often at home!). I gave this pasta its name because it's basically eggplant parm in a bowl (minus the breadcrumbs!).
Here's what you need:
(Makes 2 portions-about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup bow-tie pasta (or pasta of your choice)
1/2 piece of mozzarella )
1 medium eggplant, finely diced
about 1 cup fresh tomatoes, finely chopped (you can also use canned)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
Salt, pepper (optional-I always add them only for my portion!)
The sautéed eggplant with tomatoes is pretty easy to prepare..finely dice the eggplant, sautée with extra-virgin olive oil for about 10-15 minutes (or until tender) then add the tomatoes and spices and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until it has the consistency of a sauce.
Whizz everything in a food processor or with a hand blender.
In a small saucepan bring water to a boil, add pasta and cook according to package instructions-I cook mine a little longer than the recommended time to make sure it's soft enough for my son to chew.
*TIP: When draining the pasta, remember to set aside at least 1/2 cup of the cooking water to mix in with the pasta.
In the meantime, dice about 1/2 mozzarella and set aside. (Don't worry about wasting the other half-you'll probably end up munching on it while you're cooking!)
Add the eggplant and tomato "sauce" to the saucepan with 2 tbsp. of the cooking water. Stir until the pasta is well-coated.
*TIP: If the sauce is still too dry and sticky then continue to add 1 tbsp. at a time of the cooking water until you get the desired consistency.
Turn off the heat then add the mozzarella. Stir continuously as it melts to separate it as best as you can. It will be somewhat clumpy once it sets but you can easily cut it into pieces before feeding it to baby, or, if you are preparing this for your toddler you can give them the green light (just this one time!) to play with their food! ;-)
Serve with a generous sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan! Bon appetito!