; Supermarket Serenade: Linguini and Oreos

Monday, September 15, 2008

Linguini and Oreos

Tomorrow is National Linguine Day. I’m not sure when or why it originated, but a day devoted to pasta sounds like a good idea to me. Don't panic-I did not create a recipe combining linguine and Oreos; we ate linguine for dinner and for dessert we had an Oreo vs. Hydrox cookie showdown. But now that would be creative...linguine with an Oreo cookie mole sauce perhaps?

Since my first attempt at cooking eggplant a few days ago, I’ve made a few kinds of eggplant dishes and this one-Roasted Eggplant Linguine with Smoked Mozzarella-was a favorite. I only made enough for two, since my son decided that he was going to make homemade pizza for himself and the other two kids.

Just a few words about the Italian seasoning grinder that I’ve included in the recipe…I love this stuff. Not too long ago, McCormick came out with spice grinders: seasoned salts, peppers and pizza seasoning. The Italian seasoning (originally called Pizza Seasoning) incorporates garlic and spices and I have found that it comes in very handy when you don’t have any fresh garlic in the house. It gives a mild garlic flavor without overpowering. Of course you can go ahead and substitute fresh garlic if you have it on hand, but in a pinch the Italian seasoning comes in mighty handy, it's great for seasoning pastas, omelets, sauces and pizza. You can find the spice grinders in the supermarket spice section.

Roasted Eggplant Linguine with Smoked Mozzarella

1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into 1 inch dice
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
Pinch red pepper flakes
6 ounces linguine shaped pasta, cooked al dente according to package directions
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon McCormick Italian Seasoning Grinder
1/2 cup diced smoked mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spread the eggplant in a single layer on a large baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Place the baking sheet in the center of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until eggplant is golden brown.

While the eggplant is cooking combine the tomatoes, basil, rosemary and red pepper flakes with the remaining salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Heat the broth in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the pasta, tomato mixture and the eggplant; cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pizza seasoning and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top.

Yield: 2 servings

For dessert, we decided to have an Oreo vs. Hydrox cookie taste test.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Hydrox Cookies, the original cream filled chocolate cookie, Kellogg’s (the current owner of the Hydrox brand) decided to bring the cookies back.

I remember as a kid not really liking Hydrox cookies too much-I thought they tasted too waxy and tasted ironically like imitation Oreos. This incarnation of the cookies I think tastes ok. While each of us in the family were able to identify the Oreo and identify the Hydrox, it wasn’t because of the taste, it was because of the crunchiness of the chocolate wafer (the Hydrox cookie is crunchier). Ultimately the Oreo cookie won (3 to 2) because the chocolate taste of the Oreo wasn’t too overpowering. I’m pretty sure if we had thrown a double stuffed Oreo in there it would have been unanimous…what could beat a double cream filling?


Stephanie Heath Nash said...

I have to admit, when I saw the title pop up on my blog roll, I was horrified with the mental picture that I instantly got--uuggg! However, I could totally relate to the Oreo -vs- Hydrox debate. Growing up, Oreo's were made with lard--so we were "forced" to eat Hydrox. We always felt that there must be something magical and mysterious about Oreo's, so when Oreo's began using vegetable shortening--there was great rejoicing and dancing in the streets... Until we tasted them and decided they weren't all that we had imagined them to be. We had over-anticipated! The dream was better than the reality. Well, that pretty much set the tone for adult life.

Maria said...

Holy Moly that pasta looks amazing! I can't get enough eggplant right now. It is so good! I can't wait to try this dish!! And Yeah for Oreos! Where would the world be without them? Ha!

Anonymous said...

I could never bring anything but Oreos into this house. I've tried and they always call me out!

The Blonde Duck said...

That looks like a mighty fine meal! I love the smoked mozerella--I didn't even know it existed.

Allie said...

Your pasta looks so yummy! It's so nice to have variety in things and do a taste test like that. I don't think I would go for anything but an oreo either.

Aggie said...

Your pasta looks great! Happy Linguine Day! Oh and I love those little grinders!

I love that you did a taste test! Thanks for the results! I tend to like a crunchier cookie so I may have to go get some Hydrox for old times sake. So does anyone know why they are called Hydrox? Just wondering...

Beth said...

Loving the linguini! Will have to try that one. We get Oreo's but not Hydrox over here in the UK

Bridgett said...

Ha! I never liked the hydrox as a kid either. My parents would buy them because they were cheaper. Your pasta looks yummy with the roasted eggplant.

Anonymous said...

I saw this float through my google reader and I immediately thought, "NO. SHE. DIDN'T." Very, very clever title.

That eggplant makes me want to jump through the monitor and snatch it up. Looks delish. I want to make the stacks first though.


Tracy P. said...

Ooh, yea for double stuffed! Your blog is SO cute!

Thanks for visiting The Journey on my SITS day last week!

Grace said...

first of all, those grinders rule. best idea ever.
secondly, your pasta looks fantastic--great eggplant usage for those of us who can't get enough of the stuff.
finally, i've never had a hydrox cookie, but as an ardent cream lover, i know it wouldn't stand a chance against a double-stuffed oreo. :)

Mary said...

The title of your blog had me spinning for a minute. Your pasta looks gorgeous. As to the the taste test...I'm an Oreo gal, but very tolerant. If some folks like Hydrox, so be it.

Joanna said...

I was hoping for a linguini oreo dish. that sounds so delicious! i love love love oreos. it's just hilarious you and your family did a cookie taste test. i saw the hydrox cookies on the end of the cookie aisle yesterday and thought to myself "hydrox? i can't believe they are copying oreos!" now i know that it was the other way around. thanks for the useful information!

Anonymous said...

This looks fresh and wonderful. I love eggplant, but always forget about buying them.

Yes, double-stuff Oreos rule!-Lorie

Janine said...

Thanks for the recipe. I'm still getting eggplant from my garden that I need to cook.

I was a little scared by the linguine and oreos. Glad to see Oreos were the dessert:)