My daughter interned with a local soup kitchen this summer. Besides providing a meal everyday at noon, this soup kitchen, Project Host, runs a culinary school to teach kitchen skills to people in the community who need work skills, graduating them to be able to work in the booming restaurant and food business here in Greenville. Each day my daughter would come home bubbling over about the things she was learning along side the culinary students. Chef Tobin cooks with good humor and ease, but, oh! the food that comes out of that kitchen! Yum!
Being an unpaid intern was hard, but she did come home with vegetables from the massive Project Host garden that she helped tend, and with an occasional treat that the culinary students cooked. Yesterday she brought home a pound of uncooked pasta dough from that day's pasta making lesson and some Japanese eggplants. Today they became the basis for our meal. We cranked out the pasta dough into fettuccine and roasted the eggplants with lemon, garlic, salt and olive oil. I left the eggplants in the oven a bit longer than I should have so they got almost crispy--eggplant chips? Still tasty.
I wasn't sure what I would do with the pasta but was committed to not going to the store for any ingredients. So here's what I came up with that was so easy but also very yummy:
1 jar roasted red peppers from Trader Joes
1 medium clove of garlic from the farmers market
1 large handful of basil from the yard
1 small can of anchovies in oil.
I pureed all ingredients in the food processor, tossed with the hot fresh pasta, and added the somewhat crispy eggplants, chopped into one inch chunks. We added some parmesan cheese at the table. Simple and great!