Sunday, January 27, 2008

Rigatoni with Eggplant Puree

This was one of those recipes that you want to jump in the kitchen right after you saw someone making on TV. As I was watching the lady make the pasta my mind could not stop saying "you have to make this one, you have to make this one...!"
So, I did, of course! And what a pleasant surprise!
I really enjoy eggplant dishes and this pasta did not disappoint, actually I think I just got a new pasta sauce for the top of my list of favorites!
The eggplant sauce was sooooo creamy, so delicious and flavorful, I was truly impressed and amazed by the silkiness of this dish.
Since I don't have a food processor, I used my blender to process the eggplant so my sauce was really more on the puree side, and I have to say that I loved the texture it came out. It was almost like a babaganoush pasta sauce if you will, a rich eggplant puree infused with the flavor of garlic, olive oil and a very subtle "tomatoyness" (hey, I think I created a new word!).
Very delicious and I already want to make it again!
The only thing I did different was to omit the red pepper flakes (as both me and Matheus just cannot stomach the heat) and to use basil in place of the mint, and I think that was a good move to be quite true. Oh, and I sprinkled the cheese on top, instead of mixing it in with the sauce.
Great, super easy dish, which I am sure will be even more delicious and flavorfull when I make it during the summer, at the peak of both basil and tomato crops!

Rigatoni with Eggplant Puree
(Recipe from Giada De Laurentiis)

1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, whole
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 pound rigatoni pasta
1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves (I used Basil)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with partchment paper (or aluminum foil).
In a large bowl combine the eggplant, cherry tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and red
pepper flakes. Spread vegetables in an even layer on baking sheet and roast in the oven until vegetables are tender and the eggplant is golden, about 35 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, place the pine nuts in a small baking dish. Place in the oven on the rack below the vegetables and roast until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and reserve. (Keep and eye on these, they burn REALY fast!)
While vegetables are roasting cook the pasta until tender. Drain, put pasta in a large bowl and reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid.
Transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor. Add the mint and extra-virgin olive oil. Puree the vegetables.
Transfer the pureed vegetables to the bowl with the pasta and add the Parmesan. Stir to combine, adding the pasta cooking liquid 1/2 cup at a time until the pasta is saucy. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the top and serve.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.


Kathleen said...

Wow, I have to try this! I bought both mint and eggplant at my local farmer's market this weekend without knowing what I was going to do with them! Now I know!

Karen said...

Parece tão bom! Também adoro beringelas!

sarahsouth said...

you're back! hooray!

sarahsouth said...

oh my gosh i am such a silly, i wrote that message in the wrong window, meaning to put that on my friend's blog after a 3 month hiatus. BUT, welcome back after your 1 wk break. the pasta looks fabulous

Ashley said...

I was saying the same thing to myself - I think I made it the day after I watched the show. That's unusual for me. And it was awesome!

brisa said...

Dear Ana, just sotpping by to say that I made the vegan muffins again, double batch, one with pumpkin puree and the other batch with carrots + orange flavored camberries (Trader J.) Yum!!:))

Once again, thanks for the wonderful recipe!!



Cláudia said...

Olá, Ana, quanto tempo? Adorei o seu rigatone, lembra o meu pesto de abobrinha (de uma olhadinha), só que o meu é mais verdinho e o seu puxou para o amarelino, talvez pelo tomate e a cor da abóbora. Mas o forte do dois pratos é realmente o purê que fica leve e muito saboroso. Vou tentar a sua versão na próxima!


Cláudia said...

Oi, Ana, eu de novo, é verdade, sempre respondo em inglês os seus comentários, e agora foi em português e acabei errando, confundi eggplant com squash ( não sei porque estava com squash na cabeça). Obrigada pelo toque, e com berinjela deve ser um show!


Kathleen said...

Update, I did try this recipe! It was very good with the mint, just so you know! I also roasted some red pepper with everything and that was a great addition too. I think next time I'll add more tomatoes though. This sauce really turned out very much like babaganoush and even though it did taste good on the pasta, I kept imagining it as a dip for pita bread. So the extra tomatoes maybe will make it feel more like pasta sauce. I guess that kind of defeats the point of the recipe though...

Valentina said...

Oh Ana, this is delicious!! i will move it to my Anna's recipes must try.I love aubergines.

Leila said...

Amei esse teu molho de aubergine. com certeza irei testar.


Laurinha said...

Oi Ana!
Sempre dou uma passadinha e nunca deixei um recadinho...
Adorei a massa com berijela, ficou 10!

Laurinha said...

Gostou do bolo de caneca? :DD
É mais por farra, quando as lombrigas imploram por um docinho urgente!
Ah, e o Matheus vai adorar, será que ele já faz sozinho? Já pensou, que orgulho, ver sua obra prima ficar pronta rapidinho?

Ana said...

Kathleen, this is delicious, I am sure you are going to like it too!

Karen, eh uma delicia esse molho, se vc gosta de puree de berinjelas ira gostar!

Sarah, don't worry! I am glad you stopped by!!

Ashley, it is delicious, isn't it?? Thanks for the comment here!

Briii, fico muuuito feliz q vc gostou amiga!! De uma olhada nesse macarrao, se vc gostar de berinjelas eh uma receita demais de boa!

Claudia, se vc fizer me conta, eh uma delicia massa com molho de legumes nao eh nao?! Olhei o seu pesto e ja anotei, nao vejo a hora de fazer aqui pois adoooro abobrinhas!

Valentina, I am sure you will love this one!!

Leila, obrigada pela visita! Volte sempre, e me conte se fizer o molho, ta?!!

Laurinha, que bom vc visitando e deixando recados, volte sempre!!

Beijos e obrigad a todos pela visita!
Hugs and thanks for all for the nice comments and visit to my blog!!

LisaRene said...

This is a great recipe for me as I love eggplant and my husband despises it - hence he would never know there was eggplant in the recipe :)