Rigatoni With Eggplant and Dried Tomato Pesto
photo by flower7
- Ready In:
- 1 medium onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound)
- 6 ounces dried rigatoni pasta (such as penne or fusilli) or 6 ounces other short pasta (such as penne or fusilli)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons crumbled chevre cheese (goat cheese) (optional) or 2 tablespoons feta cheese (optional)
- fresh Italian parsley
Dried Tomato Pesto (use 1/2 cup)
- 3⁄4 cup sun-dried tomato packed in oil, reserving oil (about 3/4 of a 7-ounce jar)
- olive oil, to equal 1/2 cup
- 8 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup pine nuts or 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1⁄4 cup snipped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil, crushed
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- Cut onion into 8 wedges. Place in a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; brush with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Roast in a 425 degree F oven for 10 minutes.
- Cut stem end off eggplant; discard. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Brush with remaining olive oil. Stir onion; place eggplant in pan, cut sides down. Continue roasting for 15 minutes more or until onion is golden brown and eggplant is just tender.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain well. Toss the cooked pasta with Dried Tomato Pesto and pepper.
- Transfer pasta to a serving bowl; keep warm.
- Transfer eggplant to a cutting board; using a serrated knife, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. (Use a fork to steady eggplant as you slice.)
- Toss eggplant and onion with pasta; season to taste with salt. Top with cheese and Italian parsley, if desired. Makes 6 to 8 side-dish servings or 4 main-dish servings.
- Dried Tomato Pesto: Drain 3/4 cup oil-packed dried tomatoes (about 3/4 of a 7-ounce jar), reserving oil. Add olive oil to equal 1/2 cup; set aside. In a food processor bowl or blender container, combine the drained tomatoes; 8 cloves garlic, chopped; 1/4 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds; 1/4 cup snipped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil, crushed; and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and process or blend until finely chopped. With machine running, gradually add the 1/2 cup oil, processing or blending until almost smooth and stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Divide pesto into thirds. Use a third for Rigatoni with Eggplant and refrigerate the remaining 2 portions up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Makes approximately three 1/3-cup portions.
Questions & Replies
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This pasta is super good. The eggplant is the real star here. I wouldn't skip the goat cheese in it either, it makes this symphony sing. I used a third the oil and basil instead of parsley since we were out, and I definitely recommend it, it pairs really well. I roasted the eggplant halves 30 minutes. We added a little more sun dried tomato to our plates. I think you could probably double the pasta, the eggplant makes a lot of sauce!
This is really nice! I cut the pesto in half (so I would have less left over) and used almonds and fresh basil. I did not add any additional oil, just used what was in the jar of tomatoes (about 3 Tbsp). I roasted the eggplant for about 5 minutes over what was stated and used tri-color gigli pasta (little flowers). The only real change I made was to use a LOT more feta (a Greek goat/sheep milk blend) - maybe about 1/2 cup once I stopped adding :) This is lovely and I'm glad I made it even though my apartment is roasting now from having the oven on when it's 95F outside! :) Thanks for sharing!
Spectacular success .. I chose this because I wanted to try my hand at pesto, well, what a pleasure, I'll totally be doing this again!! It LOOKS like a lot of work, but actually it comes together quickly and with very little effort.... The roasted vegetables were marvellous, they would have been nice tossed with the pasta just like that... the eggplant was divine, and I added three small zucchini as well, just because they were sitting in the fridge saying, eat me..... The pesto was so much easier to prepare than I anticipated and was absolutely wonderful tossed with the pasta and the roasted veg. I still have pesto (the recipe makes extra) in the fridge and I'm going to be making this a lot from now on, what a pleasure. if I'd had fresh basil, I would have torn some leaves and tossed them with the pasta, I'll do that next time. As it was, I sprinkled with fresh parmesan and ground pepper, perfect. I used tomato penne for the pasta. Thanks for an absolutely wonderful recipe :D