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Pasta with Eggplant and Artichoke 茄子とアーティチョークのパスタ

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I don’t record too many cooking shows anymore, but I still have a few favorites.

One of my recent favorites is Extra Virgin.

I love their cooking in their small Brooklyn kitchen, introducing their local food-related shops, and just showing their daily city life.

So, inspired by their Italian cooking, I decided to make this simple yet delicious pasta.

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With the recommendation of the show, I decided to use whole tomato instead of diced tomato for my sauce.

I love the design on these tomato cans. Because of this, I drive to Trader Joe’s.

I wasn’t planning to get artichoke, but when I found this grilled artichoke halves in a jar, I had to have it.

I love Trader Joe’s because they always have something interesting every time I go there.

Check out other cool things I’ve found at Trader Joe’s: this, this, this, or this.

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Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said that before?

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Again, influenced by Gabriele (the husband and the chef in the show), I used my hands to break the tomatoes!

Messy but fun!

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Isn’t it gorgeous?

This rustic yet simple pasta makes a great lunch when served with salad and crusty bread.

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Pasta with Eggplant and Artichoke

tomato sauce
– olive oil
– 1 onion, chopped
– 5~6 cloves garlic, chopped
– 2 cans whole tomatoes, broken with hands
– 2 bay leaves
– a pinch baking soda
– a pinch sugar
– crushed red pepper
– salt and pepper
– water
2 ~3 cups pasta, freshly cooked
1 eggplant, cut into bite sizes, sauteed in olive oil
1 cup grilled artichoke from a jar
fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper
olive oil

1. Make tomato sauce. Cook onion and garlic in olive oil. Add tomatoes and bay leaves. Continue to cook. Add sugar, baking soda, red pepper, salt, and pepper. Add water if needed.
2. Pour the tomato sauce over freshly cooked pasta. Place sauteed eggplant and grilled artichoke on top. Serve with basil leaves, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.

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When I think of it, I know there are a lot of chefs who like to use their hands to prepare food in Japan as well.

I wonder if Japan and Europe, and probably some other countries share this culinary tradition.

I have noticed that it is more frowned upon here in the U.S.

It will be interesting to see how the New York City Department of Health’s ban on bare hands touching sushi goes.

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