Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Eggplants and Olives

Deliciously healthy vegetarian pasta salad with eggplants, capers and kalamata olives.
A spicy combination of Mediterranean flavors
I hope you enjoyed the long holiday weekend as much as I did. 
Here in Los Angeles we had an amazing weather, sunny and hot. Just perfect for the beach! And, as you probably know by now, I love the beach and warm weather. I could lay on the sand, reading my book, soaking up the sunshine and relaxing all day long. And I probably would never get tired of it. Especially if I go prepared and take along drinks and delicious food.
Yesterday, for our family picnic at the beach, I cooked this great pasta salad. Super healthy, spicy and tasty, made with eggplants, olives and capers. A great combination of Mediterranean flavors.
You can serve this pasta warm or at room temperature. For a casual dinner, or a family picnic. And make sure to cook some extra, so you can pack the leftovers in your kids' lunch. It will will save you a lot of time and energy. And the kids will love it!
Buon appetito!

Ingredients: serving 4
  • 2 peperoncini (dry, hot peppers)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 10 or so kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon of capers
  • 8 oz (225 gr) of fresh mozzarella
  • 10 oz of penne pasta, or other short pasta (fusilli, farfalle...)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

Preparation time: 30 minutes
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 
In a large skillet saute' the garlic crushed or cut in slices with the peperoncini in a few tablespoons of olive oil.
2. Cut the eggplant in cubes and add to the skillet. Saute' over high-medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Lower the flame to medium and cook until tender. Add the chopped parsley.
3.When the water boils, cook the pasta following the directions on the box. Drain and run under cold water for 30 seconds to stop from overcooking, unless you plan to eat the pasta right away.
4. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the eggplants, the capers and olives cut in pieces, and the mozzarella cut in cubes. Add some olive oil if necessary. 
This pasta is great warm or at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator any leftovers.

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