Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Giada De Laurentiis's Pasta with Eggplant, Butternut Squash, and Shrimp

I had planned to make a different eggplant dish this week, but I had some squash left over from making butternut squash risotto.  So, I googled my ingredients and came up with this recipe from Giada. I reposted her original recipe below, but I basically used the amounts that I had leftover in my fridge, which is to say I used the recipe as a basic outline and kind of winged it from there.  In general I used a good deal less than is called for in the recipe-- it serves 6, so it's quite a bit if you follow the recipe exactly). The only substitutions I made was dried thyme instead of fresh, regular eggplant instead of Japanese, and whole wheat farfalle instead of the orange (??) spaghetti.

Looking at the comments section of the recipe, it seemed like people either loved or hated this dish.  Personally, I thought it was good, but it didn't knock my socks off or anything.  I would make it again.  Some red pepper flakes or something with a little more kick would probably be a good addition to this dish.  Overall, a nice healthy meal that was pretty easy to make.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 5 cups) (You can get precut squash in the grocery store-- makes this step a lot easier!)
2 Japanese eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 1/4 cups dry white wine
2 cups fish broth, fresh or frozen, or canned vegetable broth (I used vegetable broth)
2 pounds uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and pepper
17.5 ounces orange-colored fresh spaghetti or linguine
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter


1) Heat the oil in a heavy large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for just a minute.

2) Add the squash, eggplant, rosemary and thyme and saute for 8 to 10 minutes.

3) Add the wine and broth and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer until the squash is tender and the liquid is reduced by about half, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. (At this step, I used enough liquid to just cover the vegetables. I found that I needed about 20 minutes to let this simmer.  I also covered it for part of the time so the veggies would get soft.)

4) Add the shrimp and simmer gently until almost cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

5) Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta. (Alternatively, you can use dried pasta, which will take 8 to 10 minutes to cook.)

6) Toss the pasta, squash mixture, and butter in a large bowl until the liquid thickens slightly and coats the pasta. Transfer the pasta mixture to a wide shallow bowl and serve.  I garnished the pasta with some parmesan cheese.

No comments: