Friday, October 28, 2011

Nourishing an Occupation 4: Eggplant Pasta (with SNOW!)

Are you cooking for an Occupation? I'm looking for guest bloggers to write about their experiences of the Occupy movement and their food. Please contact me here (note: this link will take you to another website)

It was snowing when I left home to deliver my latest concoction to the hardy souls at Occupy Poughkeepsie. On a very cold night like last night, it's essential to have good, hot food to keep the body warm and fueled.

I was in the park on Wed night for a meeting of Occupy Poughkeepsie Moms and Dads and while I was there, I discovered among the donated food: 6 large eggplants, 3 cans of garbanzo beans, a can of black olives, and many boxes of dried pasta. I can make something with that!

If you've read any of my other blog posts, you won't be surprised to learn that I started cooking by chopping up garlic and onions and sauteing them in oil in the bottom of a soup pot. In this case, I used a whole head of garlic. While that was cooking, I washed and cubed 4 of the eggplants.

I added 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes along with the eggplant, a pound of sliced mushrooms, some water and about 1 cup of tomato juice that I had in the 'fridge. I couldn't actually fit all the eggplant into the pot, so I let it simmer for a while and after it had cooked down a bit I added the rest of it.

I seasoned the sauce with dried Italian herb blend, dried oregano, dried basil, black pepper, soy sauce, a squirt of Sriracha sauce and just a touch of sugar. This simmered for most of the afternoon. At some point, I chopped up 2 sweet red peppers, and the can of olives and added them and 3 drained cans of garbanzo beans to the pot.

I cooked 3 lbs of pasta in boiling water in my largest soup pot. 3 boxes, 3 shapes: rotini, rotelle, & rigatoni. When it was al dente, I drained it and poured it into a large aluminum serving tray. I poured the eggplant sauce over the pasta and mixed it all together. As I was getting ready to load it and 2 cans of sterno into my car, I looked out the window and saw the first snow of the season!

Here's what the camp looked like when I arrived.

By the time I got to Poughkeepsie, it was a wet snow, mixed with rain. Let me tell you, it was cold down there! I was glad I was able to keep the food warm with the sterno because as people arrived they really needed something warm in their bellies.

It's a great feeling to give a hungry, cold person a steaming hot plate of food.

1 comment:

  1. Greetings from Liberty Square! A F/friend just sent me here-- glad I'm not the only one keeping track of my occupied kitchen exploits. :)

    Best wishes,