Oven-baked eggplants two ways

The other day I bought some eggplants at the farmers’ market. I love eggplants and one of my favorite way of cooking them is to roast them in the oven: when you cook them this way they get kind of a smoky flavor, which makes oven-baked eggplants the main character in any meal. As you will see I use the roasted eggplants in two way: one as a vegetarian entree and one as a pasta sauce.

Oven-baked eggplants twoways

Ingredients

  • 2 eggplants
  • 1 spoon capers
  • 1 small onion
  • 5 dried tomatoes
  • 1 spoon tomato paste
  • salt

Directions

  1. I cut 2 eggplants in half lengthwise and then made some cuts in the flesh without slicing all the way through the peel. These helps cooking the eggplant evenly. Then I placed the eggplant sliced side up in an oven dish and seasoned them with salt, pepper, oregano and a lot of olive oil. I placed them in the oven preheated at 400F to roast for about 40 min to 1 hour depending on the size of the eggplants (mine were pretty big).
  2. In the mean time, I chopped up a couple of table spoons of capers a small onion and some dried tomatoes. I sauteed this mixture in olive oil for a couple of minutes and then added a table spoon of tomato paste. Seasoned with salt and added a bit of water so that the mixture could cook without burning.
  3. 10 minutes before eggplants were ready, I spread the mixture on the eggplants and then covered them with some aluminum foil. I put everything back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
  4. Now as I anticipated I used the baked eggplants in two ways. One eggplant I ate like this as a vegetarian entree and out of the other I made a pasta sauce. For making the pasta sauce, all you have to do is put the flesh and seasoning of the eggplant (about 1 eggplant every 3 people) in a blender with a lot of olive oil and blend until you have a smooth cream. Use this cream as a sauce for some short pasta like rotini or penne. If you want you can add some basil, blak pepper and grated romano cheese.