Thursday, 5 September 2013

Perfect Fall Pasta

As much as I don't want to admit it, it's September now and that means the first day of fall is near. But this year, instead of getting annoyed that summer is almost over, I'm going to embrace fall's delicious flavours and dive into some new comfort food. 

Today's dish may look underwhelming at first, but when you taste it you will find that it's packed with roasted veggie flavour!  The sauce is made from tons of roasted veggies that get puréed into a heavenly smelling and tasting concoction. I topped mine with sliced almonds for a little extra crunch and thought each bite was perfect. 

Now, just to be clear, I'm not saying I'm ready for cold weather, but I am ready for cold weather food! So cold weather, you stay away for just a little while longer, ok? 

Pasta with Eggplant and Tomato Sauce - serves 4-6

1 large eggplant, cut into 1 inch chunks 
1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes 
1 head of garlic, peeled and separated into cloves
3 teaspoons of oil
1 teaspoon each of red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper
1 box of bow tie or other small pasta 
1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets 
1/4 cup each of mint leaves and Parmesan cheese 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper. 

2. Lay eggplant, tomatoes, and garlic in an even layer on the baking tray. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Bake until eggplant is fully cooked, about 30-40 minutes. 

3. Meanwhile, boil water and cook pasta. Toss the broccoli in for the last couple of minutes. Drain pasta, saving about 1 1/2 cups for the sauce. 

4. When the veggies are cooked, puréed them in a food processor with the mint and reserved cooking liquid from the pasta. If you like chunky sauce, leave some veggies chunky. If you like smooth sauce, purée until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

5. Toss pasta and broccoli with the sauce and cheese. Serve and sprinkle each dish with sliced almonds. Enjoy! 

Today's recipe was inspired by one of Giada's. I love her cookbooks and this recipe was a winner with or without my small alterations. 

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