I promise I don’t eat eggplant that often. I do make my eggplant casserole frequently. However, this recipe came about after watching Giada make this two Saturdays ago on the foodnetwork and then realizing I had an eggplant from the farmers market that was about to go bad. This recipe is super easy and fast to make. The sauteed eggplant have a such a rich flavor and the mixture of cheese and pesto is so yummy! Once again, my girl Giada has not disappointed me with her Italian cooking.
Please excuse my poor quality picture. I am hoping Santa brings me a new Nikon camera this year:)
TRENETTE WITH EGGPLANT AND BASIL PESTO
PESTO-2 PACKED CUPS FRESH BASIL
-1/4 CUP TOASTED PINE NUTS
-1 CLOVE GARLIC
-1/2 TEASPOON SALT, PLUS EXTRA FOR SEASONING
-1/4 TEASPOON BLACK PEPPER
-2/3 CUP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
-1/2 CUP GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE
NOTE: I USED STORE BOUGHT PESTO AND IT TURNED OUT GREAT
-1 POUND TRENETTE OR OTHER SHORT CUT PASTA
-1/2 GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE, PLUS 1/2 CUP
-1/4 EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
-1 MEDIUM EGGPLANT CUT INTO 1/2 INCH SQUARES
-SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
FOR THE PESTO: IN A BLENDER OR FOOD PROCESSOR, PULSE THE BASIL, PINE NUTS, GARLIC, SALT AND PEPPER UNTIL FINELY CHOPPED. WITH MACHINE RUNNING, GRADUALLY ADD IN THE OIL UNTIL THE MIXTURE IS SMOOTH AND THICK. ADD THE CHEESE AND PULSE UNTIL JUST INCORPORATED. SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE.
FOR THE PASTA: BRING A LARGE POT FILLED WITH SALTED WATER TO A BOIL. ADD PASTA AND COOK UNTIL TENDER, ABOUT 8-10 MINUTES. DRAIN AND RESERVE ABOUT 1 CUP PASTA WATER. PUT THE PASTA IN A LARGE BOWL AND TOSS WITH 1/2 CUP PARMESAN CHEESE.
IN A LARGE NON-STICK SKILLET, HEAT THE OIL OVER MEDIUM HIGH HEAT. ADD THE EGGPLANT AND SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE. COOK, STIRRING FREQUENTLY UNTIL THE EGGPLANT TURN BROWN, ABOUT 8-10 MINUTES. REMOVE THE PAN FROM THE HEAT AND COOL SLIGHTLY. ADD THE PESTO AND TOSS UNTIL EGGPLANT IS COATED.
ADD THE EGGPLANT MIXTURE TO THE SERVING BOWL WITH PASTA AND TOSS UNTIL ALL INGREDIENTS ARE COATED. THIN OUT THE SAUCE WITH A LITTLE PASTA WATER. SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER. SPRINKLE REMAINING PARMESAN CHEESE ON TOP.
YOU CAN PRINT THIS RECIPE HERE