One of the points of gardening, other than working in paradise and bringing beauty into the world, is eating your crops. A few weeks ago, I made bread and butter pickles and last weekend, I made more of them—plus some dills! But today, after work, I remembered that there was a beautiful little eggplant in the fridge. I didn’t have time to slice it thinly, broil it, and marinate in in lemon juice and olive oil. So I thought about pasta.
I also had a vase of fresh basil from the garden, so I pulled the leaves off it.
Then I sorted them by size, wrapping the smaller leaves in the bigger ones. Once they’re rolled up, you can cut the roll with kitchen scissors—or hold it down and thinly slice it with a knife. This is called a “chiffonade,” which I think translates to rags. I threw it in with the eggplant sauté.
Next, I went to my peppers from the garden. Unlike last year’s, these are not searingly hot.
I chopped them up and tossed them into the eggplant, then I added a sundried tomato pesto—yes, last year’s. Need to use all that stuff up!
In the meantime, I had put water on for pasta. I had some pipe rigate on hand, but you could use any pasta your heart desires! Then I added some red wine to the eggplant mixture. This stuff—Barboursville’s Petit Verdot—isn’t eggszackly the sort of thing I would normally throw in a pasta sauce, but it was open.
At this point, if you’re vegetarian, you can stop. If you’re not, you can chop up some sausage of your choice and toss it in to be steamed by the sauce.
Once the pasta is cooked, I drained it, poured the sauce over it, and stirred it up.
With a little cheese, and a little more of that Petit Verdot, I had a lovely dinner on the table in about thirty minutes. Mangia!