Whole Grain Noodles with Sweet and Sour Eggplant Sauce
This meatless, Asian-inspired noodle dish is quick to prepare, economical and delicious. The small pieces of eggplant break down a bit during cooking, creating a sauce with a consistency that coats the pasta nicely. We really like the way the nutty flavor and firm texture of the whole grain pasta stands up to the pungent flavors of the eggplant sauce, but regular thin spaghetti will work, too.
- 10 ounces whole grain thin spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large red, yellow or orange bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 medium eggplant (about 1-1/2 lbs), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 5 or 6 scallions, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- For the sauce:
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1-1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste (we used sriracha - see recipe notes)
Place a large pot of salted water on to a boil for the spaghetti.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over high heat in a large skillet or wok. Add the bell pepper, garlic and ginger and stir fry until the pepper is soft and the garlic fragrant, about 1-1/2 minutes. Add the eggplant, season with salt and pepper and continue to stir fry until the eggplant is soft and golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes more.
While the vegetables cook, combine the sauce ingredients in a 1 cup measure. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain and toss with the sesame oil.
Add the sauce mixture to the eggplant along with the scallions. Mix well, add the cilantro, then combine with the pasta. Add the sesame seeds, toss and serve.
Makes 4 servings
Sriracha is a hot sauce made in Thailand. It's a combination of chilis, garlic, sugar, vinegar and tomatoes with the consistency of ketchup. It has a great flavor and is very versatile. It should also be easy to find in the ethnic food section of the grocery store but if you need to, substitute any regular hot sauce.