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beautiful italian eggplants, tomato sauce--help!!!

janie Apr 2, 2007 10:41 AM

bought some beautiful looking italian small eggplants, picked up some canned tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, whole tomatoes, tomato paste....got a green cubano pepper, now what do I do with them...please help with some ideas....need a killer eggplant side dish for this evening..and have no clue what to do, to get it right....

thanks!!!

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    tigerbitesman RE: janie Apr 2, 2007 11:55 AM

    If you can get your hands on some spinach you can make eggplant roulades. Salt quater inch long slices of eggplant, rest till sweating (half hour or so), wipe clean, sear in pan on both sides, maybe two minutes, set aside while you saute spinach with garlic, parmesean and a touch cream and salt to taste. Place a good spoonful of spinach on eggplant at one end, roll up and serve on top of heated sauce, which you hopefully beafed up with some more garlic and reduced on stove a bit to concentrate flavor. If you want you can add a pepper to the sauce or the spinach. As long as your eggplant is not bitter this is a great side.

    1. hotoynoodle RE: janie Apr 2, 2007 12:37 PM

      stuffed eggplants look nice too. roast them, scoop out the insides, sautee with garlic, your pepper and onions, add a little breadcrumb and parsley, top with parmesan and reheat; then finish under the broiler.

      2 Replies
      1. re: hotoynoodle
        janie RE: hotoynoodle Apr 2, 2007 02:42 PM

        okay, what if I'm just sauteeing with hot pepper and tomatoes, do I need to salt the eggplant first????-------otherwise won't it just soak up all the oil and get tough or bitter?
        thanks...

        1. re: janie
          Gio RE: janie Apr 2, 2007 02:53 PM

          You know, I never salt eggplant before cooking. None of my female relatives did either. What I do is.....sautee what ever vegetables I'm incorporating into the dish....peppers, garlic, chopped onions... first. When these are almost cooked thru, add the eggplant and some salt... prob a teaspoon & black pepper. This releases the juices and the eggplant will absorb the flavors of the sautee. Let this simmer for a bit, then add your tomatoes, etc. The eggplant will continue to cook in the sauce. If it's a side, just add enough tomato to keep everything moist but do not let the vegetables swim in the sauce. The dish is ready when the eggplant is - probably in about 15 minutes, or so. Garnish with chopped fresh Italian parsley.

      2. m
        Mr. Cookie RE: janie Apr 2, 2007 03:30 PM

        I like to make a pasta dish with eggplant, tomato sauce and fresh burrata/mozzarella:

        Chop the eggplant into 3/4" or 1" pieces, toss with olive oil and bake until tender, turning once or twice, about 30 minutes at 350 degrees (it's not necessary to salt first, although I do salt large slices of eggplant before cooking them). Then add the eggplant pieces to a tomato sauce and heat thru, stirring gently.

        Meanwhile, cook some penne pasta, and dice up fresh burrata/mozzarella into 1" pieces. When the penne is done, put serving amounts in warm bowls, then add a handful of the mozzarella pieces and mix briefly. Then spoon the tomato/eggplant sauce over.

        1. Carpenter Dave RE: janie Apr 2, 2007 04:42 PM

          Check out "encyclopiedia of pasta sauces"
          1000 pages+ of INCREDIBLE sauces

          1. janie RE: janie Apr 3, 2007 12:01 PM

            well..i think i kind of screwed it up, but then salvaged it today for lunch...i think my sauteeing produced more of a steamed result as the eggplant was too water logged tasting--sauteed garlic and hot pepper in oil, added eggplant, and after a while when it all seemd coated and on its way to getting tender, i added the chopped tomatoes...then cooked it an additional 15-20 minutes on simmer, added fresh parsley..and salt, too...and while it looked good, it tasted kind of bland..surprising with all that garlic and green cubano pepper in there....then today, I added cheese on top and put it into a casserole for a low fat eggplant parmigiana lunch which was actually quite tasty and light...not sure what I did wrong..and in regards to the salting, I found a good turkish web site all about eggplant, and it said you needed to salt globe bigger eggplants but the smaller italian japapese eggplants didn't need salting...so, not sure exactly where i went wrong......also, not sure how to do the roasting thing and then stuff the peppers..don't they fall apart when they are roasted?? thanks for the help....also--not interested in recipes with pasta or rice..as i'm on low carb....

            1 Reply
            1. re: janie
              Carpenter Dave RE: janie Apr 3, 2007 01:13 PM

              Not sure of carb content in spagetti squash but I hear some folks use it for a good sub. Have you tried this?

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