Prep 30 mins
Cook 25 mins
A charming mix of sundried tomato pesto, grilled vegetables and smooth baby bocconcinis, perfect for a hot summer day.
- 325 g penne rigate
- 3 baby eggplants
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 6 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto (jarred or home made)
- 200 g bocconcini (mini ones, or normal size cut in half)
- 75 g smoked ham, sliced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Cook the penne according to the directions on the package, or using your own creative method.
- Rinse the penne with cold water, making sure that you drain them as well as possible without making them fly through your kitchen.
- Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pasta.
- Slice the eggplant and place the slices in a colander, sprinkling coarse sea salt (coarse is important so it doesn't penetrate too much, but it could be rock salt, sea salt or carboard box salt, it's all good as long as it's not sugar) in between the layers.
- Place a dinner plate on top of the eggplants and pile heavy objects on top of it (cans of tomatoes, a pile of smaller plate, your youngest offspring, etc.).
- Meanwhile, cut the bell peppers in half, seed them, brush with olive oil, place on broiler pan and broil 4 inches from heat source for 15-20 minutes or until the skin has turned black. Breathe inches
- As soon as you get them out of the oven place them in a paper bag, close bag by folding, twisting or stapling the top end of it and let rest while you get back to the eggplants.
- Rinse the slices of eggplant quickly and place them on a tea towel.
- Once all the slices are rinsed place another tea towel on them and extract as much water as you can without hurting your back.
- Brush a broiler pan (or any pan actually) with olive oil and place the eggplant slices on it, moving them around a bit so the bottom is coated in oil.
- Turn them over and repeat the previous step so both sides of the slices are coated with a bit of oil.
- Broil each side for approximately 10 minutes 4 inches from the heat source or until they turn a glorious golden.
- While the eggplants are elegantly cooling on the counter, take the peppers out of the bag and take the skin off (it should come off as easily as -- well, you know what I mean.).
- Slice the peppers and the eggplants in strips approximately half an inch wide.
- Roll up the ham slices in a tight little log and then cut in half an inch wide strips. Adjust the width of the eggplants strips that are too wide compared to the ham.
- Mix penne, peppers, eggplants and ham in a large bowl.
- Add 2 tablespoon of olive oil and mix well.
- Add the bocconcinis and the pesto, mixing well.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and give this little bugger one last toss.
- Garnish each plate with cherry tomatoes.
- Share with your favorite people and enjoy!