I might be jumping the gun here because eggplant season starts in July, but I’m already digging into this roasted eggplant & fusilli pasta. It’s that good! Roasted eggplant and goat cheese give this dish a rich and tangy texture. The toasted pine nuts give your pasta a nutty lift. It makes for a lighter dinner pasta than, say, fettuccine Alfredo.
Eggplant is definitely one of my favorite veggies. Growing up my mom would stuff Chinese eggplant with ground pork, deep-fry it and saute it in a generous helping of sauce. It was very tasty, but unfortunately, very slimy as well. My fiancé just hates the gooey texture of eggplant when I cook it this way. He gets really grossed out by it. But, he sure can eat this roasted eggplant pasta. Roasting eggplant seals in the juices so you get silky, not slimy eggplant. It’s great for getting an eggplant eater to eat this purple veggie! #bigwin
I get it: If you don’t do it right you can really ruin someone’s eggplant experience. Have you ever had bitter, tough or oily eggplant? Need I say more? If you’re constantly burned by bitter eggplant, you may be selecting an overly mature vegetable. Large eggplants with more pith in the skin is a sign the eggplant is older. But, if you bought it anyways, try salt the eggplant first. Then, rinse out the salt with water, squeezing out the extra water.
How do you feel about eggplant? Let me know in the comments below. If you have tricks to fool them eggplant haters, share please!
Roasted Eggplant Fusilli Pasta
Roasted eggplant and goat cheese gives this dish a rich and tangy texture. It makes for a lighter dinner pasta than, say, fettuccine Alfredo.
- 1 large eggplant sliced into strips
- 6 tablespoons cooking oil divided
- 16 ounces uncooked fusilli pasta
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 lemon juiced and zested
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 2 ounces herbed goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Toss the eggplant strips in three tablespoons of oil. Roast for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the fusilli in salted water according to package instructions. Drains the pasta and set aside. Save 3/4 cups pasta water to add back into the dish later.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and allow them to lightly brown, stirring frequently. It should take about 3-5 minutes. Transfer the pine nuts to a chopping board, coarsely chop them and set aside.
Add garlic and three tablespoons oil to the same skillet set over medium heat. Cook for about 1-2 minutes.
Crank heat to low. Add the fusilli, reserved pasta water, pine nuts, salt, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, zest and goat cheese. Mix until well-combined. Serve!
Inspired by Food & Wine.