So I've always been kind of obsessed with eggplant. And while I absolutely love everyday fried eggplant and baba ganoush, I am always looking for new ways to eat eggplant. Well, this is one of my new favorites.
Pasta alla melanzana (or eggplant pasta)
I peeled and cubed up an eggplant. Put it on a cookie sheet or in a baking dish with some cherry tomatoes, chopped onions, and garlic. Douse it all in salt, pepper, and olive oil and put in a 400 degree oven to roast for 30-40 min. I usually pull mine when the tomatoes are getting squishy looking.
Once the veggies are roasted, take them out of the oven and put them in a food processor. Whir them until smooth-ish. Add 1 can of tomatoes (pick your poison, diced, stewed, whole, doesn't matter), lots of fresh basil and some salt and pepper. Whir until it becomes a sauce. Put the sauce in a baking dish and rinse out the processor...you'll need it in a bit.
Cook your favorite short cut pasta (I'm a fan of every day penne pasta...it holds the sauce nicely). Drain the pasta and sprinkle it with grated parmegiano cheese (don't splurge on high end cheese...this isn't the place. Just don't use Kraft...it's not real cheese!). Add the pasta to the sauce in the baking dish and stir.
Add small cubes of fresh mozzarella and stir again. By now, everything should be nicely mixed up.
Remember that food processor? Now add a bunch of fresh basil, garlic, a handful of pine nuts and some more parmigiano. Whir. This isn't a pesto...don't add oil. Sprinkle the mixture on the pasta. Drizzle with a little olive oil and stick in a 375 degree oven. Cook until bubbly. I promise...it's totally worth the effort! And a great, mostly healthy, veggie treat (especially with whole wheat pasta). Enjoy!