Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sicilian Pasta

Last spring, my husband and I took a cruise around the Mediterranean. Our stop on the isle of Sicily left us in the town of Taormina. A gorgeous coastal town, high up on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea. Well, I'm sure its gorgeous when it's not raining, which it was when we were there. As it was our first day in Italy, we were determined to find a delicious authentic Italian lunch. We decided to get lost in the back alleys of the town and avoid the restaurants right on the main drag. When it started to pour, we decided to duck into a little restaurant whose name escapes me right now.

Prior to our trip, I had read that eggplant is a major staple in the Sicilian diet. After reviewing the menu, I settled on the Pasta alla Siciliana—pasta tossed with eggplant, garlic, tomatoes, and a little cheese. It also had lots of garlic, crushed red pepper, and fresh basil. It was one of the best meals I ever had.

Having made eggplant for one last night (according to my husband, he is "over" eggplant), I had plenty left over so I decided to recreate this memory.

1 large eggplant
coarse salt
8 oz whole-wheat penne or rigatoni
1 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
non-stick cooking spray (olive oil flavor if available)
4 garlic cloves, sliced paper thin
2 cups marinara sauce
1/2 cup fat-free shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped and loosely packed

Peel the eggplant and slice into 1/2" thick rounds. Salt both sides generously and allow to sit for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, blot the moisture from the eggplant and cut the eggplant into cubes.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta to desired tenderness. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining.

In a large skillet, heat half of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the red pepper and cook for one minute. Add the eggplant and spray generously with non-stick cooking spray. Saute until the eggplant is soft, cooked through and brown on the outside. Add the remaining the olive oil and the garlic. Toss and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Stir in the marinara sauce and drained pasta. Add reserved pasta water if necessary to help the sauce coat the pasta. Stir in cheese until melted. Toss in fresh basil right before serving.

Yields 4 servings.

WW info:
core - included
flex - 5 points


HappyBlogChick said...


I found you from the WW Maintenance message board. Thanks for sharing your blog with us!

HappyBlogChick said...

This is off-topic given the recipe, but I'm clicking around your wonderful blog and I don't see the type of recipe I'd hoped to find.

I'm looking for WW friendly recipes for a brunch buffet - something (or multiple somethings) I can make before a party and leave out either cold, room temperature, on a warming tray, in a crock pot, or in a chafing dish. I'll have fruit, tomatoes, and a toast bar w/ WW friendly breads, but I'm looking for a protein/main dish.

Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks!

HappyBlogChick said...

Forgot to click the "email follow-up comments" button on my last comment. Sorry for the multiple comments.

Real Live Lesbian said...

I'm coming to live with you. Scootch over.

Wow, that looks fabulous! I'll be trying this one very soon!

Jenn said...

Hi Dori,

I LOVE your website! I literally just started WW (Flex) this past Saturday and was just doing a search on the web for WW foods. I am so excited to find your blog and read the different recipes you have tried and the amount of Flex points as well. This is great! Thanks for blogging and I enjoy your stories that go along with the recipes!

Kind regards,