i have been so lazy in the photograph department lately. it takes a lot of will power sometimes to grab the camera instead of my fork. i wish i had a more descriptive photo of the pasta. it is true that it isn’t much to look at… it tastes 100 x as good as it looks.
- 1 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 small onion, cut into large wedges
- 1 15 oz. can of diced 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 sunflower seeds*
- 1 pound whole wheat pasta
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
*cheaper substitute for pine nuts
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl combine the eggplant, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Spread the vegetables out in an even layer on the baking sheet. Roast in the oven until the vegetables are tender and the eggplant is golden, about 35 minutes.
- While the vegetables are roasting, place the sunflower seeds in a small baking dish. Place in the oven on the rack below the vegetables. Roast until golden, about 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and reserve.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl and reserve (at least) 2 cups of the cooking liquid.
- Transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor. Add the tomato 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, as well as a glug of vinegar (optional). Sprinkle the sunflower seeds over the top and serve.
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