Mnazaleh Mashup with Chickpea Casarecce
Chef Matt Harding
Piada Italian Street Food
Mnazaleh is a Middle Eastern dish featuring braised eggplant, tomatoes and chickpeas with warm spices and a mix of herbs for pops of color and freshness. Chef Matt Harding of Piada Italian Street Food updates the recipe by adding pasta made from chickpeas along with the chickpeas themselves. He calls for casarecce, which are short twists of pasta, but another short, twisty noodle like fusilli or rotini can be substituted.
3 lb. chickpea casarecce
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 qt. chopped eggplant, salted, rinsed, drained and patted dry
3 large white onions, thinly sliced
1½ cups dry white wine
6 cloves garlic, minced
9 med. tomatoes, seeded and chopped
24 oz. canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1½ cups chopped Italian parsley, divided
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp. harissa spice mix
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped
1½ tsp. dried mint leaves
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1. In steam-jacketed kettle or large stockpot over high heat, bring salted water to a boil. Cook pasta as directed on package; drain.
2. Meanwhile, heat ¼ cup oil in large rondeaux over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook eggplant 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove eggplant from pan with slotted spoon; transfer to clean bowl.
3. Add remaining ¼ cup oil to pot; reduce heat to medium-low. Add onions and 3 cups water; simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until onions begin to caramelize and most liquid is evaporated.
4. Deglaze pan with wine. Add garlic, tomatoes and chickpeas; simmer, covered, 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly reduced.
5. Return eggplant to pan; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup parsley, sugar, harissa and cinnamon. Simmer mixture 30 minutes or until eggplant is soft and sauce is thickened. Add pasta; toss to coat.
6. Garnish with remaining parsley, cilantro, and vinegar before serving.
Photo courtesy of Barilla