Blogging from the Treadmill: Pasta with Grilled Eggplant and Radicchio
So very excited! I have been reading report after report about the perils of sitting all day at your computer. ‘Shortens your life by 5 years!’ scream the reports. And given my real job is in the tech industry mostly sitting in front of a computer, I had a mission – change how much I sit. So after a few google searches, I found my solution – the treadmill workstation! After some further research, I realized that this wouldn’t be too difficult to build rather than spend a fortune for the pre-built varieties. So after enlisting the help of my sweetie, ta-dah! I now have my very own, very cool workstation atop my treadmill! And walk I am! This is my second day with my cool new digs and I have spent at least 3 hours a day hoofing it while I type and talk. Just pop on and off as needed. I haven’t quite mastered the coordination to work on presentation slides yet – but I am hopeful! So this is my very first blog from my workstation. (I may have to try ‘happy power hour’ here on my treadmill!)
Apologies for the diversion away from the Our Italian Table mission but fear not, I now return. Last eve, feeling rather peppy after my day on the treadmill, I was in the mood for something vegetarian. And with both eggplant and radicchio in the fridge, this pasta was simple to pull together in less that 30 minutes. I topped the pasta with a dollop of fresh ricotta – I just love the creaminess of ricotta melted into warm pasta. Feel free to omit. And now, back to my walking! Enjoy!
Pasta with Grilled Eggplant and Radicchio
2 small eggplants
1 medium to large head of radicchio, quartered
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil for brushing vegetables
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced
Sprinkle of crushed red pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 (15 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 pound of pasta (I used penne)
Fresh basil, sliced into thin ribbons (‘chiffonade’ cut)
Fresh ricotta (optional)
- Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and then slice into slices, about 1/2 inch think. Lay out the slices on some paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Allow the slices to stand for about 30 minutes. Pat eggplant dry.
- Prepare a grill or grill pan to medium high heat. Brush the eggplant slices and radicchio with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Grill until eggplant until golden brown and tender, about 3 or 4 minutes per side. Grill the radicchio until wilted, about 1 minute per side. Remove from grill. Core and coarsely chop radicchio.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until softened, about 8 minutes. Add in the red pepper flakes and parsley. Add in the tomatoes and wine. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add in the eggplant and radicchio. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain.
- Toss the pasta with vegetables sauce in the skillet. If too dry, add pasta water to moisten. Sprinkle with fresh basil and top with a dollop of fresh ricotta. Serve!