Pirate Kitchen

Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Pasta

General, Pasta, Vegetarian | September 26, 2010 | By

Roasted veg ready to puree

I’m a bit disappointed. It was officially Fall on Thursday and I’m still waiting for it to arrive. The whole week was hovering in the 90’s and an exercise in frustration trying to find the right thing to wear. It is time to put away Summer clothes. Every year this means I want to burn just about everything in my closet. But, <sigh> I digress.

Since I can’t have my way in the fashion sense, I made this roasted eggplant and tomato pasta. It’s a very Autumnal dish made to inspire the gods. Hopefully they will respond by taking Summer away and giving us Fall.

I love to use a curly pasta like Barilla’s campanelle shape to catch all the bits in their folds, but tubes like penne or rigatoni work well too.

Campanelle Pasta

The last of the cherry tomatoes from the garden were super-tiny so I bought more to make up the difference. I tossed them with the cubed eggplant, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes and olive oil and spread them on a sheet pan. Doesn’t this look yummy already?

Eggplant and Tomatoes

They look even better after roasting and smell incredible.

Roasted eggplant and tomatoes

The mint is on standby waiting to join the roasted veggies in the food processor.

Fresh Mint

As you can see, it’s a big handful of mint in there, not a strict 1/4 cup.

Veggies Mint Food Processor

This is definitely an Autumn smell for me and it looks like I just pureed a whole bunch of Autumn leaves.

Pureed Veggies

Pour onto the waiting pasta, load on the parmigiano reggiano and mix well.

Grated Cheese on Top

Toast the pine nuts. If you can smell them, hurry it might be too late!

Toasted pine nuts

After toasting, toss them with the pasta. At this point, I’m ready with a fork and eat it straight from the bowl.

Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Puree Pasta

The first thing you notice is the creamy texture and then layers of flavors:  earthy, woody eggplant, lemony tomato, garlic and mint. Finally,heat from red pepper flake and then the toasted pine nuts. Any angst I may have felt is gone. My faith in the gods is restored and Autumn is here.

Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Pasta
Looks and smells like Autumn!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 pound pasta (Barilla campanelle, or any other tube-shaped pasta)
  • 1/4 cup (or nice big handful) torn mint leaves
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil (3 T), salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Spread the vegetables on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Roast in the oven until the vegetables are tender and the eggplant is golden, about 35 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, place the pine nuts in a small baking dish. Place in the oven on the rack below the vegetables. Roast until golden, about 8 minutes, stirring once. Remove from the oven and transfer to a bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm. Drain the pasta, reserving about 2 cups of the cooking liquid, and transfer the pasta to a large bowl.

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor. Add the torn mint leaves and the remaining olive oil. Pulse until the vegetables are pureed, but don’t make it too smooth; it should be a bit chunky.

Pour the pureed vegetables over the pasta. Stir to combine, adding the pasta water a little at a time until the pasta is saucy (you probably won’t use all of it). Add the parmesan cheese and the pine nuts. Toss and serve.

Credits:  Recipe inspired by Giada De Laurentiis

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  1. singing chef
    November 22, 2010

    Just stumbled on your blog on a blog from bon appetit. Lovely recipes! Can’t wait to try them out:)

  2. Diane
    September 27, 2010

    Tasting it once is making me crave it NOW, just seeing these pictures. I’m printing this recipe and putting it in the Great Meal category. Steve LOVED it!! Have no way of knowing what the rest of the family would’ve thought…since we didn’t leave them any…that was totally impossible, considering we literally licked our plates.