Fierce Foodie: Love Life A Little Meh? Try Eggplant!
a blogumn by Roya Hamadani
In my opinion, food is major source of comfort and is sometimes abused as an inappropriate coping mechanism because food, unlike people, doesn’t mess with your emotions, refuse to communicate, or break up with you via text. For instance, food doesn’t write you an email saying he did not and will not read or respond to any of your reasonable and carefully written emails because, no offense or anything, it is a waste of time. You may mourn the empty dish after a delicious meal, but unlike the empty inbox, it can be refilled.
Nor does food stalk you or back you into a corner, although it can feel that way, particularly in the case of cunningly placed advertisements and airport food courts. Food can’t instant message you or text you or poke you even after you’ve made yourself quite clear on various occasions that while you wish him all the best, friendship is just not an option when his girlfriend knows how to handle a gun. Food knows when to leave well enough alone.
And so I give you my friend Rachel Schlosser’s recipe for a comforting food, a soothing food to turn to when some of the people around you, unfortunately but unfailingly, begin to suck.
Rachel’s Eggplant and Sausage Pasta
Cook 1 pound spiral pasta, regular or whole wheat, according to directions and set aside. Heat 2tbsp olive oil in a nonstick pan. Add three strands saffron and 2 tsp fennel seeds. Add 1 pound loose mild Italian pork sausage and cook until no pink is left. Add 1 shake of crushed red pepper (more if you like spicy) and stir. Push pork to one side and add 1 eggplant, diced into 1 inch squares but not peeled, as well as more olive oil if needed. Add 1-2 cloves garlic. Stir. Add 1½ cups chicken stock and 1 tsp fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme. Simmer until eggplant softens, then add ¼ cup heavy whipping cream. Toss with pasta, and 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with more grated cheese and ponder if social networking sites are destroying your calm.