pasta bake with eggplant and zucchini (the chum method)

That gritty iPhone photography that shows the reality of the situation
Hello there… Here I am….back at it again with another week of wonderful slop looking food, incredibly precise ad hoc measurements, and totally coherent rambling commentary. In the spirit of spooky October, read on ~~~~If Ye Dare….

Casually splayed zucchini and eggplant
  • First of all, can I say how attached I was to this eggplant before I chopped it up into a million (OK, maybe 60) leetle fragments of itself? Look how goth and shiny it is….a black pearl…..Which has me thinking, is that Pirates of the Caribbean boat aware it’s named after an gleaming aubergine..?…Who’s paying me to make these connections….? Someone want to tell me about my career in poetry or my way with words….? Inquiring minds need to know
  • So anyways…. My first step was was to get chopping. I chopped up about half a big eggplant and zucchini into small cubes, then onion and garlic.
  • As always, fry onion and garlic in oil, adding salt and pepper. I feel like a broken record. Any of the good people out there see a future where I’m not chopping and frying onions until softened? Let me know.
  • Then add in the ground meat and cook until browned. I would have preferred I-talian sausage but I had turkey so. Whatever. It’s protein. I seasoned with salt, pepper, and some chili powder.
  • There probably is a proper order out there in This World but after the meat was browned I added all the veggies, cooked a little bit until the eggplant went soft, added more salt, and then dumped in, pardon me, Gently And With Utmost Care Upended Into The Receptacle 1 can of whole tomatoes and 1 can of tomato sauce. More salt. More pepper. More chili powder. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer. This is the Classic Chum Method. I think from now on I’ll just skip the BS and say “chum method” and y’all will get the idear. And by the way, by CHUM I don’t at all mean “friend.” I mean: “bait consisting of chopped fish and fish oils that are dumped overboard to attract fish.” Chum is one of my main and also only food groups. Also my area of culinary expertise and a profound metaphorical category. What are your CHUM HORIZONSā„¢?
Welcome to the Chum Bucket
  • While the chum is simmering, make some pasta, drain, and put it in a big dish. I don’t want to feel more like a 50s mom trying and failing to upstage the other moms at the church potluck than I already do on a daily basis, so I won’t call it a casserole dish, though for all intents and purposes that’s your guy.
Unceremoniously and cruelly dumped
  • I forgot I also put a bed of spinach on top of the pasta. Cooked spinach is the secret fourth state of water so it’s not like you’ll taste it anyways. I think this is a potential #whitemomhack to get your bad ass kids to eat green vegetables but……..c’mon folks…………maybe I just don’t get the culture…..
  • Once the chum decides that it’s ready (a solidly arbitrary 20 minutes for me), mix it in with the pasta and spinach.
Post mixing #CafeteriaCore
  • Then after mixing everything I put some shredded mozzarella and basil on top and put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until bubbly, as the old refrain goes

Before baking…featuring a single piece of raw eggplant and a lone discarded rotini. I didn’t remove the stems of the basil because I gotta show the good people I’m still one of them… out here… flawed… relatable… proletarian… bloggin’

After baking…and burning myself from using my sleeves as oven mitts (“This will only take a second! Everything’s fine!”)
Toodles… I’ll spare y’all the tupperwaring because this was a LOT of pasta and I had to gleefully break out the ole plain yogurt container I had been saving for precisely such an occasion. I hope the taint of using ad hoc tupperware survives into every last generation of my progeny until the aliens finally find us and restore the planet to the bees. A lone un-biodegradable plastic tub of frozen food will my legacy.

I’ll be back in a couple days for this week’s update from the lunch field. No beef related grievances to report today.


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