The consensus seems to be that everyone is fond of eggplant parmesan, but no one actually likes eggplant. As one of the more absorbent vegetables (they’re actually fruits), it’s easy to cook them into an unpalatable texture (guilty!). For that reason, I rarely buy eggplant, but once in awhile they lure me into a purchase. I can’t resist them when they’re on sale, unblemished, voluptuous, and the sultriest shade of…well, aubergine.
I’ve found a surefire way to cook eggplant quickly, easily, and without the fuss off using salt to draw the moisture out. You might not want to make this pasta during the summer months, as the oven is used. I changed the title to this blog post three times. When you don’t know what to call something and the outcome isn’t very aesthetic, you call it rustic.
Roasted Eggplant & Grape Tomato Pasta
Simple and delicious as is, or the perfect canvas to add/omit your favorite vegetables, herbs, pasta, and/or cheeses. I sometimes like to add lentils or white beans for extra protein and fiber.
1 unpeeled large eggplant (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper or any other color, cut into 1/2-inch squares (optional)
1 pint/package of grape tomatoes (halved lengthwise if desired)
1-2 garlic cloves,
Extra virgin olive oil
about 8 oz dried pasta (whole wheat linguine is pictured, but penne is my favorite)
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425°F. Place the eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, & garlic in a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle vegetables with oil and sprinkle a generous amount of salt and pepper; toss until evenly coated. Roast vegetables until tender, stirring halfway through, about 15-30 minutes in total.
Toss with cooked pasta and drizzle more olive oil & season if desired.