Angel hair pasta with tomatoes, eggplant, and artichoke hearts ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

28 October 2012

Angel hair pasta with tomatoes, eggplant, and artichoke hearts

purple cherokee tomato plant

In current garden news, tomatoes! Tomatoes for all!

It took until October for our Purple Cherokees to really ripen, but now that they have, they're pretty amazing. The plants are huge, productive, and still going strong. It helps that it's 78F outside right now, of course.  I suspect that we have about two to three good weeks left.

purple cherokee tomato

This guy was growing around a branch of the plant--look at the gouge it made when I picked it!--so I needed to get it inside and into my mouth as soon as possible. Okay! How about a batch of pasta?

I found a head of garlic, a jar of artichoke hearts, and an eggplant on its last legs, and got to work.

Angel hair pasta with purple cherokee tomatoes, eggplant, and artichoke hearts

Angel hair pasta with tomatoes, eggplant, and artichoke hearts

olive oil
artichoke hearts
angel hair pasta
oregano, basil, red pepper flake, salt, pepper

Before you make the sauce, put on a pan of water for the pasta. Heat it to boiling, covered, and turn it off (if you need more time for the sauce to cook). That way it'll be hot & waiting whenever you're ready to put the pasta on.

Start by warming olive oil in a wide saute pan. Smash a bunch of cloves of garlic with the flat of your knife, peel them, and mince them up. Then throw them in the pan, stir it up, and let cook over medium heat. Add some sprinklings of basil, oregano, and red pepper flake, so the oil gets all infused with their flavors.

Peel and dice as much eggplant as you want to eat. I had a long, skinny Asian eggplant, so I only ended up with maybe 2/3 cup of half-inch-square eggplant bits. That was all good. Toss your eggplant in with the garlic, mix it up, and keep cooking.

Drain and roughly chop as many artichoke hearts as you want to eat. I love artichoke hearts, so I used six or eight quarters just for me. After the eggplant has had about 5 minutes to cook, add your artichoke hearts and stir everything up again.

Next, core and dice your tomato. I used just the one tomato, which worked admirably, since it was pretty gigantic. If your tomato season is over, you can use canned tomatoes, puree, or whatever works for you. It's all good. Add your tomato to the pan, salt and pepper, stir, and let cook. Here's what my pan looked like at this point:

angel hair pasta with purple cherokee tomato, artichoke hearts, and eggplant

So that's what one tomato can look like in a 10-inch frying pan. Hooray!

At this point, you just want to cook the tomato and veg down to a sauce consistency that you like. It'll probably take about ten minutes if you're starting from fresh tomato, and a bit less time if you're using canned. Put your pasta on to cook whenever it's most appropriate. I used angel hair, obviously, but pretty much any pasta shape should work with a mildly chunky tomato sauce like this one.

When everything is done, drain your pasta and add it to your pan of sauce. Give it a minute over low heat, so the pasta can absorb a bit of the sauce. I usually wash the pasta pot and then serve.

Angel hair pasta with purple cherokee tomatoes, eggplant, and artichoke hearts

Eat your delicious pasta with some fresh parsley scattered over the top. Grate some cheese over it if you want to. It's your pasta; do what you want!



Joanne said...

Yay for your tomato harvest! What I wouldn't do for some really good ones right now...this pasta has them prepared in the perfect way! Fresh, and natural so they can really shine.

Michelle said...

I don't know if I'm more jealous of your late tomato harvest of the 78º! Such a wonderful pasta dish!

Marissa said...

I'm am VERY jealous of those tomatoes. There are a lot of good things about living in Bend, OR - gardening is not one of them. :) Looks like the perfect pasta dish to me.

Eileen said...

Thanks, guys! If it helps, that 78F was kind of a fluke, even for us--it's 57F right now, at 11 am, two days later. Let's see what happens with the onset of "rainy season." :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I miss summer produce!! So jealous of your extended growing season. All of our plants are seriously blackened. Well, except the parsley, which seems like it will live forever.