Ginger-Garlic Braised Eggplant with Noodles
Eggplant and red bell pepper, simmered until tender in a flavorful ginger-garlic sauce combine with hearty, whole wheat pasta to make a meatless, Chinese-inspired meal.
- 12 ounces whole wheat spaghetti or linguine (see notes)
- 1-1/2 to 2 lbs eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided
- 4 to 5 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, very finely chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1-1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1-1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sriracha
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 4 to 5 scallions, chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.
- Heat the vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant and barely golden, 2 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and continue cooking 1 minute longer.
- Stir in the chicken broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha and sugar. Add the eggplant and stir to coat with the broth. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, then cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is tender, 7 to 10 minutes.
- While the eggplant simmers, cook and drain the pasta according to package directions. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil and set aside.
- Season the eggplant mixture with freshly ground black pepper and a pinch more sugar if desired.
- Whisk the cornstarch into the remaining 1/4 cup of chicken broth and add it to the simmering sauce. Continue cooking just long enough for the sauce to thicken to a glaze, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the scallions, add the mixture to the pasta and toss to combine.
The nutty taste of whole wheat pasta is a great complement to the flavors in this dish, but regular pasta will work as well - or, serve the eggplant over steamed white or brown rice.