A friend of mine recently shared a recipe for pasta with eggplant for me. It sounds pretty boring, frankly, but it looked lovely, and she swore by it. And, yeah, we ended up with a crapton of assorted eggplant in our CSA box, so eggplant pasta went on the menu!
The particular evening we enjoyed this lovely dish was originally going to be a dinner-on-the-grill sort of evening, but then the thunderstorms started. We spent the afternoon at the pool, but once dark clouds started to converge from three different directions, we hopped on our bikes (with Nora strapped in the trailer) and high-tailed it home. Eggplant pasta it was!
We opened a bottle of Ridge Lytton Springs Syrah Grenache and got cooking while the rain came down in buckets. It was a lovely rainy day meal, and much more than the sum of its parts.
Rotini with Eggplant
Based on this recipe
1 lb rotini
3 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp crushed red pepper
3 medium eggplants (or 4-6 smaller ones)
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 Tbs basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
3/4 cup parmesan, grated, plus additional for serving
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, slice the eggplant crosswise into 1/4-inch rounds. Arrange on doubled paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 30 minutes and pat dry.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and the sauté onion until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and sauté until fragrant, about a minute. Stir in the eggplant and cook for 8 minutes, or until somewhat tender
Dump in the tomatoes and reduce the heat to a simmer. Add salt to taste and simmer until the eggplant is tender. Toss in the cooked pasta and chopped basil. Stir in 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Garnish with additional shaved Parmesan.