Tasty Summer Time Veggies Tossed with Pasta and topped with fresh mozzarella cheese…
This easy summery pasta is just as much about the vegetables as it is about the pasta. The stars of the dish are the delicious, in season, eggplant and tomatoes. They are browned in pan with olive oil, onion, and garlic. Once the eggplant and tomatoes are soft and caramelized in texture and flavor simply season with rosemary and toss with hot pasta. For the last touch we add globs of fresh mozzarella, torn by hand, and it creates the perfect cheese pockets in the sauce. This is a marriage made in summer veggie pasta heaven! You will love the easy hack to get the water out of the eggplant- hint: no salt or hours of wait time!
Eggplant Hack (WITHOUT Salt) – Perfect Taste and Texture
If you’ve ever prepared a dish involving eggplant, then you’ve probably had to salt it before sautéing, baking, or frying it. You know, to remove all the excess moisture you don’t want to seep into your meal and make everything a watery mess.
But apparently there’s a better trick than laying out slices of the vegetable and dousing it in salt. According to the Kitchn, you can just as easily microwave eggplant to pre-cook it and remove excess water without the added sodium and extra waiting time for it to “sweat” it out.
Here’s the process: Slice or cube the eggplant, place it on a plate with a couple of sheets of paper towels and cook on high for five minutes. Voila—you’re done. No more waiting around and eating super salty veggie dishes again.
Simple Fresh Ingredients
Summer is meant for fresh produce and easy meals. Agree? I don’t like to add too much to the eggplant and tomatoes in order to let their flavors shine. Eggplant has a flavor similar to summer squash or zucchini: tender, mild, and sweet with a slight vegetal bitterness. Eggplant will absorb the flavor of whatever it’s cooked with. In this recipe they get their flavor from the garlic, olive oil, rosemary, and juicy fresh tomato flavor. This pasta dish is one to make and share often during the summer and early fall months.
Are Eggplants Good for You?
Eggplant is a high-fiber, low-calorie food that is rich in nutrients and comes with many potential health benefits. From reducing the risk of heart disease to helping with blood sugar control and weight loss, eggplants are a simple and delicious addition to any healthy diet.
Rigatoni Pasta! Why Use Rigatoni or Short Pasta for this Recipe…
I love the fun texture and shape of the rigatoni pasta. Rigatoni, which comes from the word “rigato” meaning ridged, are short, wide tubes of pasta that have ridges on the outside, but are smooth on the inside Italian. You can certainly use any pasta variety you like if you don’t have rigatoni on hand, such as farfalle (bow tie) or penne. I like that the rigatoni are about the same size as the cut eggplant, so you get the perfect bite with all the components of the dish.
The “perfect pasta bite”
A short pasta shape such as the rigatoni variety allows me to get that bite I desire with a little bit of eggplant, tomato, cheese and pasta all in one BITE. Is anyone else into creating ‘perfect bites’ with their food? I like to taste a little bit of everything in one precise bite. It’s a rare occasion that I methodically plan my bites these days, with three young children at my table, but there will be a day for that again. Truth be told, I’m not in a hurry for that day just yet…
From my cucina to your table, Mangia! Mangia! (Eat!)
Made with Amore, Elena
This easy summery pasta is just as much about the vegetables as it is about the pasta. The stars of the dish are the delicious, in season, eggplant and tomatoes. They are browned in pan with olive oil, onion, and garlic. Once the eggplant and tomatoes are soft and caramelized in texture and flavor simply season with rosemary and toss with hot pasta. This is a marriage made in summer veggie pasta heaven!
- 1 lb (454 g) short pasta variety of choice
- 2 large eggplants, cut into cubes
- 1 large/ 2 small ripe heirloom tomatoes, diced (or 4 small Roma tomatoes, diced)
- 1 small onion (or half a large onion), diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, keep on stem (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Optional: freshly grated parmigiano for serving
- Place eggplant in a microwave safe dish and cover with three paper towels. Cook on high for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Add onion, garlic, and rosemary. Cook one minute to release fragrance. Add eggplant and tomatoes. Cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until slightly golden brown and soft. Remove rosemary sprig and discard.
- Meanwhile boil a large pot of water. Add salt to season water and cook pasta until ‘al dente’ directions. Before straining the pasta reserve 1/4 cup pasta water and set aside.
- As soon as eggplant mixture is done cooking turn off heat, season with salt and pepper. Add cooked pasta and stir to combine. If needed add a little of the pasta water to make more of a sauce. Add a drizzle of olive oil on top and serve hot or room temperature. Optional: freshly grated parmigiano. Great as leftovers.
Keywords: eggplant, tomatoes, main dish, main meal, pasta, Italian recipe, vegetarian, rosemary, easy dinner, easy recipe