Fusilli With Cheesy Eggplant

Fusilli With Cheesy Eggplant
Fusilli with freshly-made tomato sauce and a cheesy eggplant dish

Lunch today was pasta with freshly-made tomato sauce and an eggplant dish as an accompaniment. Since we are rice-eaters other staples do not often show up on our table. My older son is home now so there is a taker for pasta. As for my husband, he will only stick to rice, dal, sabji, and fish/meat curry. I had made the same but with more accompaniments the other day when my beloved sisters, nieces and nephews spent some time with me over lunch.

My sisters (1st and 4th from left), nieces and nephews. My first-born is 3rd from right (with glasses).

I clicked this picture after lunch with almost everyone squinting in the hot afternoon sun. The menu had pasta with roast pork, cheesy eggplants, baked potatoes, and trifle pudding with mangoes that my mother had sent from her garden. With family elders it’s best to stick to Indian and Dimasa cuisine.:D
Ingredients for the sauce:
6 large tomatoes (about 400 grams)
1 large onion, finely diced
8 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
Sugar and salt to taste
3 tbs olive oil
1 tbs freshly grated pepper
1 red chilli, chopped
3 tbs tomato puree(optional/I use it for making the colour more intense)

Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl of cold water. Take out one, peel, remove the “eye’ and chop roughly. Repeat with the rest.
Heat the oil in a pan. Fry the onions till translucent, add the garlic and the chopped chilli, then add the chopped tomatoes. Cook till the tomatoes soften. Add the seasonings and the sugar for the balance. Check and make adjustments if needed. As soon as the mixture looks done, take it off the heat and let it cool. The time needed for this sauce is about 15-18 minutes.
After it cools down, blitz it but not too fine.

The sauce before being blitzed

Ingredients for the Cheesy Eggplant:
1 medium eggplant
4 cheese pieces (I used Go cheese triangles)
1 egg
3 tbs vegetable oil to fry the eggplant
Salt to taste
Basil for the garnish
2 tbs tomato sauce (above)
Chop off the top end of the eggplant. Use a mandolin slicer to make thin vertical slices.
Sprinkle a bit of salt on the slices and set aside.
Break one egg in a bowl and beat it.
Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Dip the eggplant slices in the egg batter and fry till golden on both sides. Repeat with the rest till all the slices are used up.
Transfer to a plate lined with absorbent paper. After the eggplants cool down, place one on a plate and scatter the grated cheese all across its length.
Roll up and repeat till all the fried eggplant slices are used up.
Heat a small pan and add the sauce to it. Place the rolled eggplants on the sauce. Scatter the remaining grated cheese all across. You can also pour a bit of water to the pan. Cover and let it remain on a low flame till the cheese melts. This will take about 10 minutes.

I used the sauce today as there was enough of it. On other days, I heat a pan with a bit of oil, add chopped garlic and finely chopped or grated tomatoes. This is cooked for about 5 minutes before the rolled eggplants are placed on top of the sauce. Then the grated cheese is scattered all across.The rest of the cooking remains the same.

Cheesy eggplants

The pasta:
200 grams fusilli
Grated pepper
Basil leaves
Heat water in a pan. Let it come to a rolling boil. Add 1 tsp salt and add the pasta. Boil till it’s done. Check one by taking it out with a slotted spoon. Drain in a colander. (Reserve a bit of the pasta water. This comes in handy if you need to add some liquid to the sauce). 
Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl and pour the sauce over it. Mix well so that each is coated with the sauce. Add grated pepper and scatter fresh basil leaves over it.

Dig in!

A satisfying meal indeed. Eggplants team up so wonderfully well with cheese. And pasta. I tried the recipe after seeing James Martin’s show but with my own adaptations. Whoever tastes it says the same. That it’s delicious! The basil leaves are from my pots. The plants aren’t doing too well but I’m glad I could still pick a few leaves on both (pasta) occasions.:)

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