Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pasta with Eggplants

Let me first tell you what I was planning to write about:

I had planned to write a succinct and clever post about the Eid Feast of the sacrifice and subsequent 5 days off from school, my trip to the Sinai peninsula, about the numerous checkpoints on the road, about the horrifying filthy bus stations of middle-of-nowhere Egypt, about the unfortunate early morning flat tire in the middle of the supposed insurgent littered desert, about the truck of black-clad AK-47 wielding men who showed up as I stretched out my stiff morning shoulders in a scant tanktop at the side of the road - and me bursting out in maniacal laughter imagining them to be Islamic militants (actually it was the Egyptian army showing up to protect us from just that). I wanted to write in depth about all of these things, about lazing on the beach with Saudi Arabia in the distance, about the death of Tourism in the wonderful hippie town of Dahab, about anything and everything not related to my all-consuming job of teaching English, (which seems to infiltrate every other conversation and is making me feel very boring)..but as I am currently in the midst of cooking up a mean pot of pasta, I have decided instead to just post a recipe.


Julia's vaguely Turkish-style Spaghetti with Eggplants
(Aka. The Vegetarian pasta dish that people who eat meat will actually enjoy)

3 small eggplants, sliced thinly and cut into half-rounds (peeled if you live in Cairo)
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1 onion chopped up
Small jar tomato sauce (here we have Kraft brand "Pasta sauce" - it's decent actually)
Cumin, curry powder, salt, pepper, oregano
Olive oil for cooking
Bag of pasta, whatever shape tickles your fancy
Feta cheese
Several beers

First, saute them onions in some better quality olive oil till they are nice and soft; add the garlic and spices and continue to saute. Fry until your kitchen smells good, while swiggin' a beer and killing ants on your kitchen counter. Then add a little more oil and the sliced eggplants. Cook on med-high heat until the eggplants start to look soft and have absorbed some spicy goodness. Add more oil and cumin as needed. After about 10 minutes things should be looking semi-cooked; add the tomato sauce and some water so it doesn't stick. Cook on low heat while you light another burner on the gas stove, (carefully throwing the used match in the sink ya hear?) Boil water for the pasta, adding some salt to disguise the taste of the chlorine. Sit on the couch and begin writing on your blog, then get up to check the pasta, then sit down again get up again, get annoyed at the mundane task of cooking; tell your room-mate that you hate cooking and that life is too short to spend hovering over a pot of steaming liquids. Get up again, maybe now the pasta is done. Drain pasta and top with sauce, some small spoonfuls of Istanbul style feta, and some yogurt and salt,pepper, hot sauce etc as needed. Eat it fast, while drinking beer -start to sweat a little. Feel momentarily pretty good about this cooking thing. Fall on the couch while your roomate does dishes.


Disinfected Produce

bubbling pot of goodness

Arabic Pastas

Olive oil, ISIS brand spices

finished plates ready to be devoured

Mmmm carbs

Sriracha sauce for all

Hurray for timer shots!

Watch out for those pesky kitchen ants!

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