This roasted tomato and eggplant spaghetti is the perfect meal for a cool or rainy summer night when you’re not trying to beat the heat with a cold supper. Toronto’s disgusting heat kicked in for a few days two weeks ago and I was glad to have some rain. It’s good for the garden and cools down my sweltering house. I served this for dinner on a drizzly evening while a friend was visiting from out of town. It can be a simple one-pot meal that you cook ahead and eat throughout the week or you can dress it up with some garlic bread and salad — which is what I did.
I adapted the recipe from The First Mess Cookbook by Laura Wright. The original recipe is entitled “Eggplant Bolognese Pasta”. In my recipe, I added some red wine and opted for roasted tomatoes rather than canned. I love taking advantage of the beautiful, cheap vegetables at the markets near my home in Toronto. Both tomatoes and eggplants are in season from approximately July-October. Rather than doing dried chili to spice things up I used chili oil because I had some on hand. It makes the dish that much more decadent. Finally, I added a pinch of rosemary out of habit.
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Welcome to March. That point in the winter when you wonder why you have chosen to relocate to a frozen tundra when you lived in Sydney, Australia not six months ago. While it is true that I miss the fine weather and the white-sand beaches I could never sacrifice the community I current have here in Toronto for a sun-tan.
When I was little my Dad would often prepare elaborate breakfasts for us before school. Most kids I knew started their day with cereal. Whereas my siblings and I enjoyed omelettes, french toast and crepes. No pancake mix from a box. No canned fruit on the side. My father made everything from scratch with fresh ingredients. My mum, who is not a chef, but remains an excellent cook followed suit. We feasted like kings almost every morning.
Now, I realize how lucky we were to grow up with parents who were willing to dedicate an enormous amount of time to our morning routine. These days, most families find themselves rushing off to work and school with barely enough to time to gulp down sludge from a never-gonna-expire-tetra-pack. I say this without judgement. We have all been down the instant breakfast path. Cereal is cheaper than fresh fruit. Toast is faster than pancakes. Pop tarts can be delicious in a creepy kind of way. People are short on cash and pressed for time so breakfast is liquified or processed or simply passed over altogether. French toast with fresh fruit is something you order at brunch or something.
Like baking bread or canning, preparing stock from scratch is a lovely ritual that prevents food waste and can be incorporated into your regular routine.