Italian Wedding: Pasta with Roasted Vegetables, Garlic Bread, Eggplant Stacks



As the blog title would indicate, I did not have an Italian wedding rather I married a Desi. No ordinary desi, one who not only cooks Desi food but who also cooks delicious Italian food.In my humble opinion food fit for an Italian wedding. Last night we were joined for dinner by my brother-in-law Gopi, also the latest inductee into the Ross Business School Hall of Fame. (He'll be starting his MBA in the fall.) Our guest of honor was their uncle Chellappa Chithappa who is affectionely referred to as CC.

The Italian wedding dinner was envisioned in order to accompany the vintage selected for the night, 'Three Buck Chuck'. If you haven't tried it, go out and buy a bottle, or 10. It'll still be cheaper than most out there, and better. Appropriately accompanied by Italian food, since in this case South or North Indian food was vetoed. Imagine my luck, my husband and brother in law decide to team up together to cook CC and I dinner. It was the Sundaram Culinary Institute in full force. The menu follows but first the toast, "To MY good fortune of having these two around!".


  • beer battered eggplant stacks layered with mozzarella and parmesan cheese
  • salad of mixed greens with pear and nectarine, topped with roasted peanuts
  • spaghetti with roasted vegetables in olive oil and garlic with capers
  • garlic buns

Eggplant Stacks
1 medium eggplant thinly sliced into rounds, 1 small red onion thinly sliced, 2-3 green onion stalks minced, 4 small mozzarella balls sliced, 2 shavings of parmesan per stack, 3-4tbsp of all purpose flour, 1 cup of beer, dried italian herbs, garlic butter

1. Layer a stack in the following order: eggplant, red onion, mozzarella, parmesan, eggplant.
2. Insert a toothpick through the centre to anchor the stack together.
3. Dip the stack on both sides into the flour mixture to coat.
4. Fry on both sides in garlic butter.

Serve over salad. You can omit the garlic, but to be honest when we compared the garlic butter stacks to olive oil stacks, the garlic butter tasted so much better. You could also layer fresh basil leaves in this as well.


Salad
1 bag of spring mixed greens (freesia, radicchio, spinach, arugula), 1/2 asian pear thinly sliced, 1/2 raw nectarine thinly sliced, 1/4 cup of roasted pine nuts (substitute any nuts here), 1 cup of diced tomatoes

Dressing
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 3-4 splashes of balsamic vinegar, juice of half a lemon, 2 tsp italian seasoning, black pepper, salt

1. Mix the salad ingredients together.
2. Toss with the dressing right before serving.


Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
1 lb spaghetti, 1 zucchini diced, 1/2 eggplant diced, 1 medium eggplant diced, 1/2 pear diced, 1 green pepper sliced into strips, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, a few splashes balsamic vinegar (optional), 1 tbsp garlic, 1 tbsp chili flakes, salt, black pepper, 2 tbsp dried italian herbs, 2 tbsp capers

1. Toss the vegetables with oil, salt, ground black pepper, chili flakes, and italian herbs.
2. Broil until the vegetables are cooked and release a flavorful aroma (approximately 8-10 minutes). Alternatively you can bake them at 450 for about 20 minutes.
3. Boil the spaghetti according to package directions until al dente.
4. Mix the vegetables along with the pasta.

Serve topped with capers and Parmesan cheese.

Garlic Buns
6 buns, 1/4 cup butter, 1 tbsp chopped garlic

1. Mash the garlic into butter. The butter should be at room temperature (If not it will not adhere properly to the buns and create the nice garlicky crust on the bread).
2. Spread the buns with the garlic butter.
3. Bake at 350 degrees until the edges are browned slightly.

Verdict: CC and I were blown away and decided the food was better than any restaurant we had been to. It deserved to be served with a 100 dollar vintage!








40 comments:

Nandita said...

Sundaram Culinary Institute!!! HAHAHAHAA
Loved the menu planned by Shankar, may be I'll copy the same at home soon- recently made an italian dinner for a couple who are close friends, Three Bean Soup, Homemade Olive bread, Mushroom & Tomato Bruchetta, Fusilli in Arabiatta sauce and they got over the Gelato. Your menu next time!!
Hugs to both of you, you are lucky to have a husband who can cook an entire meal (that too Italian), especially when you are a good cook too :)

Roopa said...

wow Kanchana thats a very good spread of italian dishes! i am drooling at htose pictures!

Jyothsna said...

Fantastic menu! I've bookmarked this and will try it soon. But before that, I'll show this to my hubby who has no clue about cooking!!!;) Lucky gal, how I envy you :)

arundati said...

spread looks super....better than the one we had at the italian restaurant last night...and being a sucker for pasta, i know when i see a good one!! goes into my must try folder!!

Savithri said...

The eggplant stacks looks awesome. Might try that with the massive zucchini we have at home:) Great pics!!

bee said...

these dishes look absolutely fabulous. Kudos to the SCI Chefs. Do they go on tour? --Jai

Poonam said...

Hi Kanchana, This menu is fantastic! SCI!...LOL...thats so funny!

Laavanya said...

What a great Italian spread Kanchana. Everything looks lovely!
Lucky you.

Padmaja said...

You are so lucky kanchana, a full course meal cooked by hubby which looks absolutely divine!! what more do u want??

Sharmi said...

hmmmm Delicious!! Loved all of them. the pics are so, so tempting. the eggplant stacks looks out of the world. you guys must have had a great time.

Asha said...

Great vegetarian Italian spread! Good for him and you,specially you!;D

Mishmash ! said...

This was a nice post....food, humour and pictures :)
Does Sundaran Culinary inst. do catering too ? :)) Just kidding :))

Shn

Bharathy said...

Wow..A real treat!!
Your photography skill is JUST in its peak now with those blurred backgrounds..if u don't mind,may I know the soft ware used for the same..?

Sandeepa said...

Are you sure the hubby goes to B-School and not a Culinary one ? He cooks such amazing stuff and with such panache.

Latha said...

Wow what a fantatsic spread! Love the look of those authentic dishes! Hats off to the SCI chefs! :-)

Anonymous said...

Looks tasty and I sure it is.

shankar

marriedtoadesi.com said...

Nandita, your menu sounds really good. We'll have to try your recipes out.

Bee, they don't go on tour but I seriously want to produce a cooking show with the two of them!

Shn, if you are in Ann Arbor just come over!

Bharathy, the camera is a new gift from Shankar for my blog: Canon Rebel XTI digital SLR. I love it. And for editing, I just use Picasa!

Roopa, Jyothsna, Arundati, Savithri, Poonam, Laavanya, Padmaja, Sharmi, Asha, Sandeepa, Latha, and Shankar thanks for the nice comments and visiting!

Archana, mama of twins said...

Can Shankar and Gopi come teach something to my cooking deficient hubby? :)If they need coding help he would be the MAN.

What a grand feast. A true wedding spread.

Padma said...

Love all the dishes..and pics as well, nice and interesting write-up!
what a feast

Bharathy said...

And that garlic bread!!!Which I wanted,i mentioned in one of your earlier posts!!!Thanks a TON!!!Your tip you gave in my place is simply amazing.Seems your mom makes a better Rachel Ray!!!:D

Coffee & Vanilla said...

Wow! Great food and the blog... I will come back shortly to read more.

Greetings, Margot

Priyanka said...

The dishes look so mouthwatering and the same goes for the pics....

Raaga said...

You're one lucky woman aren't you :-)

I don't know why I blog hop in the morning when my mails are downloading. I get so hungry!!

Lovely food, amazing pictures. Hats off to you both!

Sripriya said...

Wow! I am very impressed! I am all inspired to get off my lazy butt and go try this recipe =)

BookFreak said...

Hey Kanchana.....am jus' easing my tech-resistant mom into the big-bad world of blogging!!....'n' the best way to capture her interest is South-Indian cuisine and a cuter-than-hell South-Indian couple!!....She's gotten all teary-eyed seeing your wedding pics and am passing on her best wishes to you 'n' your divine hubster!!

p.s.Love the Italian spread...do I even need to tell you how fantastic it all looks!!

Vani said...

How beautiful does that look! Lovely photography, K! Very appropriate toast for the lovely dinner and the chefs! Eggplant stack is going on my must-try list. IT looks delicious and the recipe sounds divine and easily do-able! Thanks for sharing! :)

Nags said...

wow!! u r married to someone who can cook italian food? and that too this well? god! i am so jealous!!

awesome spread! will def try out the garlic bun! :)

Anita said...

You very lucky girl! That's a totally professional dinner - yes, Sundaram Culinary Institute is right!

And the pictures do full justice.

sunita said...

What a drool worthy spread...three cheers for the Sundaram Culinary Institute :)

Kajal said...

WOW....this plate cooked by hubby....Looks eye catching....Great Italian dish.)

Anonymous said...

If he is a desi, he beats all non-desis in their own coin (dish)!

Sia said...

wow!!! i seriously thought its a pic from restarent... shankar is fab cook. my compliments to the chef:)
happy I-day kanch. i have got something special for u @my place. so come n pick it when u get time:)

Nags said...

u seem to be missing in action.. enge ponai? :)

Sirisha Kilambi said...

Hi Kanchana....ur blogurl is very unique dear...Nice pics and a nice blog dear :-)

TheCooker said...

The SCI chefs are really something.
What a spread!

Shankari said...

What a great blog and very good pictures too.

Rachna said...

the sundaram culinary institute had me in splits!!! heeee...lovely lovely menu indeed... my fav cousines is italian and will try out all the recipes here... great post kanch

SHUBHA said...

kanchana... i would like to say ur an amazing cook.... and u really inspire me.....i have tracked most of ur recipes and simply love them.... thanx a lot...:)

Miss2aMrs said...

omg my mouth is watering!

Shuba said...

wow super stuff