CARAMELIZED ONION & EGGPLANT PASTA

May 21, 2018

In my early days as a homemaker, I made this recipe the night I hosted six people for dinner – the largest group I had ever single-handedly entertained in my young cook’s life. My friend Elysia and I strategized for 20 minutes on the phone of what I should make.

Pasta can feed a lot of people, which made it our winner. With many italian entrees, you could assign guests to bring along a salad or side, if you want to go potluck style gathering.

DOUBLE THE RECIPE TO SERVE TWELVE!! What hospitality possibilities. One more tip, since eggplant can be controversial I do it in large pieces so it is easy to eat around, if desired.

Caramelized Onion & Eggplant Pasta
Serves five to six

1 eggplant, cubed
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
A dash of salt
A dash of pepper
1 onion, sliced
1 pound pasta (I use gemelli)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 cups tomato pasta sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flake
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (optional)
Basil leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange eggplant in an even layer on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes.

Place onions in a skillet over low heat with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Heat for 40 minutes, stirring frequently, until caramelized.

Prepare pasta al dente, according to package instructions.

Add garlic to onions. Deglaze pan with red wine vinegar.

Toss onion mixture with tomato pasta sauce, pasta and chicken (optional). Top with red pepper flake and basil.

CARAMELIZED ONION & EGGPLANT PASTA
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 eggplant, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • A dash of salt
  • A dash of pepper
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 pound pasta (I use gemelli)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups tomato pasta sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flake
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (optional)
  • Basil leaves
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange eggplant in an even layer on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes.
  2. Place onions in a skillet over low heat with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Heat for 40 minutes, stirring frequently, until caramelized.
  3. Prepare pasta al dente, according to package instructions.
  4. Add garlic to onions. Deglaze pan with red wine vinegar.
  5. Toss onion mixture with tomato pasta sauce, pasta and chicken (optional). Top with red pepper flake and basil.

Adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables.

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(REALLY INEXPENSIVE!) GREENERY GARLAND

May 17, 2018

From observing what I am drawn to in my pinning tendencies, I can hardly resist a full garland of greenery as a table runner. It feels full and beautiful and classic. I like it with a lot of color palettes, but greenery plus black and white might be my favorite and I feel like it is a scheme that’s hard to mess up.

I was recently wanting the lush green garland look for a big party I was helping host. I quickly found that this look is usually expensive. THEN I found the trick lays with a plant called salal.

Those are the generic green leaves that are usually just used as the default leaf in bouquets. They are cheap, but when they are strung together in pretty garland form, they are an inexpensive way to get a full feel of lots of gorgeous greenery. Really it looked so good I didn’t even miss ruscus or silver dollar eucalyptus.

My greenhouse sold salal in bundles. One bundle was about $15 and included 15 stems. So for your quantity buying purposes, 1 bundle = 15 stems = 12 feet finished garland. (That is for reference. If your greenhouse cuts or sells them in different sizes, you can use the below photo for reference; it is two stems wired together.)

The only other supplies needed are wire and wire cutters. For the wire, I bought some nice thin kind for floral arranging at the same place I got my greenery. It was only like $3 for a spool. Nothing heavy duty is needed on the cutters because the wire is so thin.

Then you just make your garland by wiring pieces together, covering the stem of the previous piece with the leaves of the next one. Then to finish attach a couple reverse pieces to cover the last stem. The process is very forgiving and you can easily make tweaks and fill in as needed.

If pieces come apart, (which they definitely can if your garland is long) it is no problem because they would be easy to reassemble on site (if you are transporting).

The greenery naturally curves on its own during assembly and looks lovely and ethereal. Making my twelve bundles for about 144 feet of garland took 2-3 hours. And maybe best of all, salal lasts SO LONG. Even if you aren’t having a big occasion, you could make a garland for your summer table in an instant for like, no money.

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PARMESAN & PARSLEY BISCUITS (WITH REFRIGERATED BISCUIT DOUGH!)

May 14, 2018

Let’s dress up some ready made biscuits. You take butter. You melt butter. Add in garlic powder. Pour butter into base of a pan with cheeses and fresh parsley.

You face the pop of a can of biscuit dough. You have nice biscuits. The rest of the details below.

The store-bought rolls of biscuits are good; don’t get me wrong. But, this little recipe takes them to the next level.

Parmesan & Parsley Biscuits (With Refrigerated Biscuit Dough!)
Makes eight biscuits

3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 can refrigerated jumbo biscuit dough (16.3 ounces)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a small bowl, stir melted butter with garlic powder. Pour butter into base of a 9×13 baking dish to coat the bottom. Sprinkle over parmesan, mozzarella, and parsley.

Arrange biscuits over cheeses. Bake for 15-17 minutes.

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PARMESAN & PARSLEY BISCUITS (WITH REFRIGERATED BISCUIT DOUGH!)
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 can refrigerated jumbo biscuit dough (16.3 ounces)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, stir melted butter with garlic powder. Pour butter into base of a 9x13 baking dish to coat the bottom. Sprinkle over parmesan, mozzarella, and parsley.
  3. Arrange biscuits over cheeses. Bake for 15-17 minutes.

Adapted from Life in the Lofthouse.

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Copyright © Rachel Schultz 2018