We are in eggplant season, and I wanted to share an easy recipe I adapted a long while ago from Giada DeLaurentiis. As usual, I use whatever I have handy in my pantry, fridge and what I believe my taste buds will prefer.
It’s easy to make, and the leftovers keep very well.
PASTA WITH EGGPLANT PUREE
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into small cubes ½ pint of cherry tomatoes or 2 small tomatoes 2 garlic cloves Salt and pepper to taste ½ cup of walnuts, toasted ½ bag of whole-wheat penne pasta 2 tbs Olive Oil ½ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated ½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped finely – optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- While the oven is heating, place walnuts on a baking sheet with lined with parchment paper. Toast in the oven until you get a first whiff of walnut smell, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and let cool on a separate plate.
- Line the baking sheet with new parchment paper. Place the eggplant, cherry tomatoes, garlic on baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread them evenly on the baking sheet. Roast in the oven until the vegetables are tender and the eggplant is golden, about 35 minutes.
- While we wait for the vegetables to cool of a bit, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Return pasta to the same pot where you cooked it.
- While the pasta is cooking, transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor and puree to form a chunky paste.
- Transfer the pureed vegetables to the pot with the pasta, add the Parmesan. Stir to combine, adding the pasta cooking liquid 1/4 cup at a time until the pasta is saucy. Add the walnuts and chopped parsley, if using, and toss again.