Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Of Eggplants and Angels: Angel Hair Pasta with Eggplant-Tomato Sauce

According to legend, Weight Watchers recipes used to be mostly celery and horseradish, pounded into submission and forced screaming into a sternly unyielding jello mold. Lately, though (the last two years?), the folks at WW seem to have retooled their entire approach. Now there are wondrous additions, like spices and vinegar, that make quite a few of their recipes more than edible.

This dish was posted recently on the WW site, though I altered it pretty significantly to fit my tastes and budget. For a slightly higher price, you could substitute fresh basil for better flavor or whole wheat pasta for more of a nutritional punch. Either way, it’s good stuff, fancy enough for company, and tastes great cold the next day.

Angel Hair Pasta with Eggplant-Tomato Sauce
6 servings 1 ½ cups per serving
Adapted from Weight Watchers.

8 oz. uncooked angel hair pasta (half the box), cooked and drained
1 medium raw eggplant, sliced into 1-inch cubes
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
4 t Olive oil (preferably in a spray bottle)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp dried basil (or 2 T fresh, minced)
1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth (or low-fat regular)
3-4 oz reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled

1) Preheat oven to 425ºF.

2) Chop the eggplant (skin on) and red pepper, and put ‘em in a large bowl. If you have an olive oil spray bottle, coat the top of the vegetables and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Stir well (but gently). Do this three times, being careful not to oversalt. (If you don’t have a spray bottle, slowly drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil on top of the veggies. Then, follow the aforementioned directions.)

3) Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. (If you like, coat it with cooking spray. This isn’t necessary, but will make vegetable removal a little easier.) Place eggplant and pepper on sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until they start to brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

4) Grab a big saucepan. Coat with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and heat on medium-low.

5) Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes, until heated through. Add roasted veggies, red pepper flakes, basil, broth, and salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat up to medium-high.

6) Cook a few minutes until broth is reduced, and the mixture becomes a little saucy. Turn off the burner. Add the pasta and stir lots.

7) Add the feta and mix thoroughly, until the pasta is coated with it. If this is done while the pasta is still warm, you’ll get a lot of feta in each bite. Serve NOW.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving

243.7 calories, 6.2 g fat, $1.14

8 oz. angel hair pasta: 840 calories, 4 g fat, $0.25
1 medium eggplant: 132 calories, 1 g fat, $1.38
1 medium red bell pepper: 40 calories, 0 g fat, $0.88
4 t olive oil: 160 calories, 18.2 g fat, $0.10
Salt and pepper: 0 calories, 0 g fat, $0.02
1 garlic clove: negligible calories and fat, $0.05
1 can diced tomatoes: 75 calories, 0 g fat, $1.19
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes: negligible calories and fat, $0.05
1 T dried basil: negligible calories and fat, $0.25
½ c chicken broth: 5 calories, .5 g fat, $0.40
3-4 oz reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled: 210 calories, 13.5 g fat, $2.25
TOTAL: 1462 calories, 37.2 g fat, $6.82
PER SERVING (TOTAL/6): 243.7 calories, 6.2 g fat, $1.14

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Ninoshka said...

Hi, I came across your blog when I googled "Is Falafel healthy?". I really like your blog. I'll keep checking back. You have some good ideas posted. Thank you! I'll definitely be trying these recipes.


Kris said...

Thanks Nina! I hope to keep posting at a good pace. Let me know what you think o' the food.

Teresa said...

I am very impressed with your blog! So much information and everything I have been looking for when doing a recipe search....normally if the nutritional value is not listed I don't bother going back to the site. Your attention to detail is absolutely phenomenal!!!! Thank you very much!

Mindy said...

Thank God! A blog that doesn't leave me nodding off and actually is inviting me to try veggies! I am due to get married in a year and a half and I am hitting maximum density in my hips so I don't exactly want to buy a dress that is a size: pear. I'm excited to try this recipe!


Mindy said...

So I tried this reciped TWO times...the first time I made it I was looking at the wrong spot and seem to have added 1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper, needless to say I had half a bowl with a gallon of water. The second time I paid attention to what I was doing and the dish was amazing! And you can pig-out on it for very few calories!! A+