Make dinner tonight, inspired!

Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? This is your place for quick and healthy meal inspirations. Here you'll find recipes for seasonally focused dinners, desserts, breakfasts, and everything in between.

My cooking focuses on the freshest ingredients prepared in a simple and careful way, to highlight their uniqueness. My own diet is primarily vegetarian, but does include sustainable fish and seafood, and is gluten free.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to sharing some of my favorite recipes with you!

17 August 2010

Rigatoni with Roasted Eggplant, Tomatoes, & Mint

This recipe is one of my stand-bys for dinner. It's best made in the late summer when the produce is at its peak but the evenings have taken on that distinctive hint of a fall chill. This dish is hearty and warming, a bit spicy, and very delicious. It's one of those meals I come back to time and again because it's so easy and satisfying.

I hope you'll give this one a try and that it may also become one of your weeknight staples.


Rigatoni with Roasted Eggplant, Tomatoes, & Mint:
Yields 4 servings

12 oz g-free Rigatoni (or other tubular shaped pasta)
1 large globe eggplant (about 1.25#), diced into 1.5" pieces
1 pint cherry tomatoes (any color or a mix of colors)
1 medium yellow onion (or 2 small spring onions), diced into 1.5" pieces
1 clove garlic, smashed but left whole
1 tsp red chile flakes (or to taste)
4 TB olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 TB fresh mint, finely sliced
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Add the diced eggplant and onion, whole cherry tomatoes, and garlic clove. Sprinkle with the red chile flakes, salt & pepper, and drizzle with 2 TB olive oil. Toss together gently to coat all the vegetables and spread out into a single layer on the baking sheet. Cook without stirring for 35 minutes until tender and nicely caramelized.

2) When the vegetables are roasted and cool enough to handle, puree them, along with the toasted pine nuts, and remaining 2 TB olive oil in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is combined but still chunky. Add the mint, reserving 1 tsp for garnish, and pulse again briefly. Spoon the puree into your serving bowl.

3) Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, about 10 minutes depending on the size of your pasta. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and drain the rest. Place hot pasta on top of the puree in your serving bowl. Toss to coat the noodles well with the pureed sauce. Add a bit of pasta water, 1 TB at a time, to loosen the sauce if needed so it evenly coats all the Rigatoni. Sprinkle with the reserved mint and serve hot.

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