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Rishta bi Betingan—Pasta with Eggplants

The eggplants are usually fried, but for those who want to broil them, that can be done, as they are then cooked further in a tomato sauce. 

Author Adapted from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food, p. 388

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Eggplant, sliced
  • Salt
  • 1 Large Onion
  • High Heat Oil (coconut, sunflower, veg.)
  • 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Ground Chili Pepper or Flakes
  • 1 lb Tagliatelle (or any pasta)
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan or Gruyere, grated

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle the eggplant slices, if you like, with salt, and leave them in a colander for at least ½ hour to allow the bitter juices to drain. Rinse, drain, and pat dry with paper towels.

  2. Fry the onion in 2 tablespoons oil until soft and golden. Add the garlic and stir for a moment or two. Then add the tomatoes, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and the chili pepper or flakes.

  3. Fry the eggplant slices very briefly in about ½ inch of very hot oil, turning them over once until lightly colored, then drain on paper towels. Alternatively, brush the slices with oil and broil them under a preheated broiler, turning them over, until lightly browned. They can be slightly undercooked. Add the eggplants to the tomato sauce and cook for 10 minutes more.

  4. Boil the tagliatelle in salted water until slightly underdone and drain.

  5. Grease a large baking dish. Fill it with alternating layers of pasta and the eggplant mixtures, starting and finishing with a layer of pasta and keeping a little of the sauce to pour over the top. Sprinkle, if you like, with grated cheese.

  6. Bake in a 350° F oven for 20-30 minutes. The pasta will absorb the flavors of the sauce.

Recipe Notes

More Eggplant Recipes:

Spicy Eggplant Pastahttp://food52.com/recipes/24001-spicy-eggplant-pasta

Eggplant Parmesanhttp://food52.com/recipes/431-eggplant-parmesan