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Friday, November 5, 2010

Roasted Eggplant Pasta with Goat Cheese

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As soon as I saw this recipe on Brittany's blog, I wanted to try it. It was out of Food & Wine magazine, which I subscribe to but for some reason had missed in the January 2010 issue. Ryan gets all of the credit for this recipe. Not only did he go to the store one afternoon for me to pick up the eggplant, but then he ended up making the whole thing since it was a night that I was not in the mood to cook. I have to admit, I love watching my hubby work in the kitchen...he rocks out to his itunes and gets to work like a pro. He even photographed this for me AND did most of the dishes. Ryan, remind me of this next time I complain that I always do it all ;)

This pasta is pretty delicious and a great meatless option for an entree. The roasted eggplant, lemon, goat cheese, and pine nuts all work really well
together and make for a relatively light pasta dish. By the time I ate this for dinner, it was
lukewarm and I still really liked it! You could also play around with the recipe and add other roasted vegetables to really pump up the veggie factor. Just don't skimp on the goat cheese...the best part, of course!

One Year Ago: Apple Oat Crisp

Roasted Eggplant Pasta with Goat Cheese
adapted from Food and Wine

-1 medium eggplant, sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick and crosswise into 1/2 inch chunks
-1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
-salt & freshly ground pepper
-3/4 pound pasta (original called for fusilli, we used rotini)
-2 tbsp pine nuts
-1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
-pinch crushed red pepper
-1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
-3 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
-1 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
-2 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Toss eggplant in a large bowl with 3 tbsp olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper. Spread eggplant on a large baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, until browned on the bottom. Turn the eggplant with a metal spatula and roast for an additional 10 minutes, until very tender.
2. In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until al dente. Drain and save 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
3. In a large skillet, toast pine nuts, stirring frequently, until lightly golden (approximately 5 minutes). Transfer the pine nuts to a cutting board and coarsely chop.
4. Heat remaining 3 tbsp olive oil in the skillet. Cook chopped garlic over moderate heat for one minute, until tender. Add crushed red pepper, cooking for 30 seconds. Add pasta, eggplant, pine nuts, lemon juice, and reserved pasta water. Toss over moderate heat, until pasta is evenly coated. Season with salt  pepper and remove from heat.
5. Add parsley and lemon zest and toss. Stir in goat cheese and toss until cheese is lightly melted. Add to bowls and serve immediately.