Experimenting with Eggplant

Since moving out of my parents house, my real meal (all food groups accounted for) intake has decreased.  Mostly because I was a stressed out architecture student with no time or money and a bowl of pasta with a bit of salt is fast and cheap.  I was a bit better about making (having) complete meals and mixing it up when I had someone making them for me.  I was being kinda lazy about it again once I moved to New York, especially with all the take out so close by.  I moved a bit farther south and my favorite take out spots are no longer call-when-you-get-off-the-subway-and-pick-up-on-the-way-to-the-apartment, therefore forcing some needed diversity in my cooking again.  That said, I still like my quick, one pan meals.

from http://notahippie.wordpress.com/

This one skillet meal was appealing because it was fast, easy, and it had eggplant. This was my first cooking experience with eggplant.  Since moving to New York I have had eggplant in pastas and on pizzas and enjoyed it.  I started collecting recipes with it, but have been too scared to try cooking with one.  Not sure why, but I was, it’s an intimidating vegetable.  I found this recipe for Tortellini with Eggplant and Peppers  and finally decided to give it a try.

I am normally a follow-the-recipe type of girl, but I could only find 10 or 14 oz bags of tortellini and had used a bit of my peppers earlier in the week, and my bullion cubes make 2 cups each. So I added a bit of vidalia onion, extra cup of vegetable broth, and 24 oz of tortellini.  Since I like my spices I also added a tiny bit of my brother dried chili mix. It turned out really well. I was afraid I would have a issue with the vegetable cause they would be soft, but it’s still really great. The only problem was that the broth didn’t soak in as well as I think I should have, which was a bit of a surprise since I added more pasta that broth proportionally.  I thought the broth would be soaked up quicker.

From Real Simple (my picture didn’t look as yummy)

The decision to make it again will all hinge on how it does as a leftover for lunch tomorrow. I am afraid the texture of the veggies is gonna gross me out, but I am going to try not to think about it.

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