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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Roasted Eggplant Pasta

This is one of my all time favorite recipes.  I make it every summer.  I always hold out until I can get farm fresh cherry tomatoes.  I try to hold out until it's from our own garden.  I have made this for parties where there are people who don't even like eggplant.  They love this dish.  I have been asked for this recipe on a number of occasions.  The best thing about this dish isn't even how amazingly easy it is to throw together.  It's actually how creamy the sauce is without using any cream whatsoever.  The eggplant is what makes you think you've just dived into a bowl of vodka sauce.

I need to say this...beware the spice level of this dish.  My husband would say, "What spice?"  But I think it packs a good amount of heat - and I reduced the amount of red pepper flakes I use from the original recipe's whole teaspoon down to just a quarter of that!  I still think it's spicy.  Regardless, you might want to start small and add later.  You can't undo it if you do too much at the very beginning.  A quarter teaspoon may not seem like a lot, but once you roast it along with the vegetables and then blend it in the food processor...to me it's as if I've unleashed a fiery beast from hell.  The first time I used a whole teaspoon, I was sweating - but the dish is so damn good, I ate the entire plate anyway.

Roasted Eggplant Pasta
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 box whole grain pasta
1 small to medium sized eggplant, diced into 1-inch cubes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
6 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 cup torn basil leaves
1/2 cup grated romano cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine the eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, 3 Tbsp of olive oil, and red pepper and place in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes or until the veggies are tender.  Meanwhile, boil a pot of water and cook your pasta, reserving 2 cups of the water for your sauce.  Once the veggies are done, put them in a food processor along with the basil.  Process until smooth while adding the remaining olive oil and about a cup of the pasta water.  Once your pasta is cooked, drain and combine with the sauce along with the cheese and any additional pasta water if you think it is necessary.  Enjoy!



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4 comments:

  1. Hi Amanda! I was looking for an alternative to my eggplant sauce and then I found your recipe ... This pasta is quick and delicious! As you warned, I used a quarter teaspoon of red pepper and got perfect. The sauce is very creamy, even using very little fat. Thanks for sharing the recipe. :)

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  2. You are very welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I do :)

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  3. This was great! I folded 5oz of goat cheese in to the pasta mixture at the end and it was delicious.

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    1. Wow, the goat cheese must have taken this to another level! What a great idea!!

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