Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Rigatoni with Eggplant Puree

                                    from Smitten Kitchen

I *KNEW* some pics of foods I'd recently cooked had vanished, dammit all! I kept wondering these past couple weeks how the hell I'd been cooking a decent amount and yet didn't seem to have very many recipes to post. And voila--apparently I'm a tool and somehow deleted a bunch of food pics.

Anyways, I actually made this recipe a few weeks back. What I liked most about it was the mint/eggplant/red pepper flake mix. It was a strange and yet delighful combination--kind of like a battle of fire and water in the mouth.

Hm. Realizing I don't have much more to say than that.

Wow that was a boring post.


PS. I have no idea why MY pasta sauce looks all Barbie while Smitten Kitchen's is all deep and sultry in color. So don't ask.

  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes

  • 3 cloves garlic, whole

  • 3 T. olive oil

  • 1 t. salt

  • 1 t. freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 t. red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 c. toasted pine nuts

  • 1 lb. rigatoni pasta

  • 1/4 c. torn fresh mint leaves

  • 3 T. extra-virgin olive oil

  • Parmesan, to taste (optional)*

  • Glug of balsamic or red wine vinegar or freshly-squeezed lemon juice (optional)


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

Heat up a small pan on medium-low heat and dry-roast your pinenuts until lightly brown (between 3 and 5 minutes or so).

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl and reserve (at least) 2 cups of the cooking liquid. (Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm not sure that I used anywhere near CLOSE to 2 cups of water when I whipped mine up.]

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor. Add the torn mint leaves and extra-virgin olive oil. Puree the vegetables.

Transfer the pureed vegetables to the bowl with the pasta and add the vegan Parmesan. Stir to combine, adding the pasta cooking liquid 1/2 cup at a time until the pasta is saucy, as well as a glug of vinegar (optional). Sprinkle the pine nuts over the top and serve. (Or you can just serve your noodles with some of the sauce poured on top, a sprinkling of pinenuts, and some parm on the side.)

(Recipe from Smitten Kitchen)

No comments: