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Eggplant Red Pepper Pasta

May 17, 2011
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I’m always searching for pasta dishes that can be made in almost as much time as it takes the pasta to cook but are still delicious. Meals like this perfectly suit those days where you’re tired and don’t want to put in an incredible effort, but also feel like you need a reward for your long day so don’t just want to end up with kraft dinner. Disappointing meals are the worst and they definitely happen more often when the energy to do something extra isn’t there.

This pasta is super easy to make, although it may seem at first glance to involve a lot of steps (it’s not quite a one dish meal but I’m not usually a huge fan of those anyway). Before you do anything else, preheat the oven to 400, then you can put the water on to boil. When the water is boiling, add 2 1/2 cups pasta such as fusili or penne.

Roasted Eggplant

1 small eggplant, peeled then cut into ‘fry’ shaped pieces

I lined my baking pan with waxed paper so the eggplant didn’t stick. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with pepper and salt. Bake for about 5-7 minutes until slightly browned on the outside and tender on the inside. The eggplant will steam/smoke a bit – don’t be alarmed!

Spicy Peppers

1 large red pepper, sliced (cut the slices in half if they’re very long)
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped

On medium high heat, so that the peppers will brown, cook for about five minutes until soft. Add chili pepper flakes and a bit of salt and pepper halfway through, then the garlic about a minute before ready.

Assembly

When the eggplant, peppers, and pasta are cooking, lightly toast pine nuts and crumble goat cheese.

Drain pasta, then toss with the two vegetables and top with garnishes.

Optional Additional Ingredients:
Zucchini ribbons, sauteed
Roasted tomatoes
Fresh basil, cilantro or parsley
Parmesan (in place of goat cheese)

Serve with: Balsamic Broccoli, Crusty Bread, Red Wine

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