If you are a reader of this blog you know that when Steve isn't home for dinner I try to make something that I know I can't make when he's around. Steve is not a fan of eggplant andI had some from the farmer's market along with some tomatoes from my parents' garden. I remembered a recipe from Rachael Ray. She made a pasta sauce from pureed eggplant. She puts her eggplant in the oven whole and scoops it out but I wanted more caramelized flavor on the eggplant so I roasted it in cubes. I absolutely LOVED this recipe. Probably one of my favorite eggplant recipes of all time! I debated about posting this recipe because the picture was lacking some color. I posted it on my facebook page and I was assured the photo was good enough to post so hope you all think so too. The only problem is I don't have an exact recipe to follow here. I am going to have to make it again to perfect it and write down the measurements. So this recipe is an approximation. Give it a try and use your own judgement (more or less tomatoes, onion, etc) otherwise wait for me to try this once again. One thing I did realize is that it would be much better to roast the tomatoes on a seperate cookie sheet since they give off too much water and prevent the eggplant from browning well.
Pasta with Roasted Garlic and Eggplant Sauce
2 eggplants, partially peeled (peel every other section so it looks striped), cut into large dice
4-5 tomatoes, cut into large dice
1 large vidalia onion, cut into large dice
1 head of garlic
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
pecorino romano cheese, grated
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Prepare 3 sheet pans with parchment paper (makes clean up a lot easier) and spread out eggplant and onion over 2 cookie sheets and put the tomatoes on the 3rd. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat.
3. Slice top off of the head of garlic so garlic is exposed. Drizzle with oil, salt and pepper. Wrap well in foil and place in a small oven safe bowl or if you have space on your cookie sheet put it there. (Do not put it directly in oven as the oil make leak out and onto your oven.)
4. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes and toss and flip so all sides get color. Cook veggies until soft and browned. Tomatoes may come out sooner than the eggplant. Check on the garlic - when a knife can easily pierce the garlic it is ready. The garlic can easily over cook and become burnt and hard. Check every 5 mins afterward if it's not yet ready. Remove everything from the oven and allow to cool.
5. Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze out of the papery skin. It will come right out. When veggies have cooled down add them and garlic to a food processor (you may have to do this in batches and just add to a bowl to combine when it's all blended). If it's very thick drizzle in some oil while the food processor is on. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add torn basil.
6. Cook pasta until al dente and reserve some pasta water. Return pasta to pot and toss in eggplant mixture. If it looks like it's too thick add a little bit of the pasta water. Toss with romano cheese and enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.