If you have given-up cooking eggplant because it takes too long to get the raw flavor out, try this method! With just 5 minutes browning and three minutes under pressure your eggplant is served!
Use this recipe as a sauce on “short” pasta (penne, farfalle, or fusilli) or smashed and creamed at the last minute to serve on spaghetti – with grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Or, instead, settle a scoop-full of these eggplants on a little pillow of rice – with an extra hit of spicy oil. Or, double the recipe and serve the eggplant all by itself as a side-dish at room temperature (no cheese, dress with a fresh extra virgin olive oil and a little squeeze of lemon).
The base of this sauce is how almost every dish from Rome to the South of Italy begins. The anchovies melt and do not add a fishy taste – they add that elusive “umami” depth of flavor. Garlic takes the place of the onion which is more heavily used in the northern regions and; similarly, oregano evicts basil and becomes king the further down Italy you go.
|Pressure Cooker||Accessories||Pr. Cook Time||Pr. Level||Open|
|2L or larger||none||3 min.||High(2)||Normal|
- 2 large eggplants, cubed
- 1 handful, sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove, garlic, smashed but with the wrapper on
- hot pepper flakes (1 pinch for light heat, two pinches for medium, three for spicy!)
- 1 bunch of fresh oregano (or 1 tablespoon dry)
- 2 anchovies
- ½ cup (125ml) water
- Wash and cube the eggplant. To get the bitter liquid out of the eggplant, put it in a strainer and sprinkle the cubes with salt and mix. Add a plate on top of the cubed eggplant and some kind of weight on top of that to push it down (I use my full tea kettle) and leave them to rest for about half an hour or more (see photos).
- Now, infuse the oil. In the cold pressure cooker, add olive oil, the garlic clove (with the wrapper still on), the pinch of hot pepper, the oregano and anchovies. Turn the flame on the lowest setting, or keep-warm for electric pressure cookers, and swish everything around to flavor the oil (about 5 minutes)- if the oil starts to bubble and fry turn it off immediately.
- Carefully remove the garlic clove and wrapper (you can add the garlic back, later).
- Separate the diced eggplant into two piles. Turn the heat up to medium and add half of the eggplant into the pressure cooker, with the lid off. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Swoosh the eggplant around lightly browning it on most sides- about 5 more minutes.
- Next, add the raw eggplant and the roasted garlic clove you removed earlier.
- Quickly mix the new additions with the browned eggplant and add the water.
- Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. For stove top pressure cookers, turn the heat up to high and when the cooker reaches pressure, lower to the heat to the minimum required by the cooker to maintain pressure. Cook for 3 minutes at high pressure.
- When time is up, open the cooker by releasing the pressure.
- Tumble the eggplant to a serving dish to stop it from cooking further.