Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Penne Pasta
This post is sponsored by Ronzoni and SheKnows Media
This season, start loving the eggplant again with this roasted eggplant and tomato penne pasta. This velvety eggplant and tomato sauce is my take on eggplant caponata served with pasta for a healthy and gluten free weeknight dinner.
For me, finishing the day with a bowl of homemade, flavorful, and healthier bowl of dinner means completing the day on a good note. Dinners such as this this bowl of pasta bring to the table a good serving of veggies, whole grain gluten free pasta and ton of flavor from roasted silky eggplant, juicy tomatoes, capers, garlic, parmesan and fresh basil.
Does it sound like a winner meatless dinner or what?
I know you are with me! So, let's get cooking!
As much as my family loves pasta dinners, they are not big fans of eggplant. On the other hand, I grew up eating eggplant and love it. So, when I crave eggplant, I like to add some delicious twist to recipe so everyone will enjoy. The only way Vishal likes to eat eggplant is when it is roasted.
Honestly, roasting/pan-frying eggplant brings out its flavor and meaty texture and makes it a great vegetarian substitute, especially whenever roasted eggplant, tomatoes, garlic and seasonings meet. It always translates to a yummy meal.
Now, can we talk a little about my favorite pasta here?
The pasta I have used is Ronzoni Gluten Free® penne rigate. Last month I shared with you Mushroom and Sun-dried Tomato Cream Sauce pasta using their gluten free Spaghetti.
It is a multi-grain, tasty mix of quinoa, corn, brown rice and white rice. Also, their pastas are certified gluten free, which makes me happier that I'm serving 19 grams of whole grains per serving for dinner.
When I first tried it, I fell in love with their pasta. It has the same texture as regular pasta, easy cooking instructions, and still much lighter on stomach because it has no gluten. Now, this in my book means a "winner dinner"! What do you say?
Just so you know, Ronzoni Gluten Free® pastas are distributed nationally and cost about $1.99 to serve a family of 6. You can buy it in most stores where pastas and other pasta products are sold.
Cooking this Roasted Eggplant and Tomato pasta dish is very easy - if you follow the instructions. It needs very little active cooking time. I mean, most of the time goes into roasting the eggplant and tomatoes.
I like to work on cooking the pasta and sauce base after ushering-in the eggplants and tomatoes into the oven. A batch of eggplant in a preheated oven takes 25-30 minutes to roast. When the eggplant is about 15 minutes into roasting... I bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and drop-in the pasta to cook. When the pasta is getting ready, I sauté the onion, garlic, tomato paste, capers and seasoning in a wide pan.
Once the eggplant is done, I add it to a pan with pasta, Parmesan and basil. Toss well; let cook for 30 seconds for flavors to like each other and dinner is ready to serve!!
That was easy! Right?
If pasta dinner is on your mind? Here are few more recipes which will go great with gluten free pasta.
Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Penne Pasta
- 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 2. Spread diced eggplant and tomatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tbsp oil, generous sprinkle of salt and black pepper. Bake in preheat oven for 25-30 minutes or until eggplant is roasted. Toss roasting eggplant with spatula once half-way through cooking.
3. While eggplant roasting, cook pasta according to package directions. I like bring a pot of water to rolling boil, then season with salt for extra flavor. Drop in pasta and cook until aldente. Once done, drain and set aside. Additional Notes: Reserve a little bit of pasta water to refresh the pasta (if serving later)4. When eggplant is about roasted, heat remaining tbsp of oil in a wide skillet. Add minced garlic and chopped onion and saute until soft. (2-3 minutes.) Add capers, tomato paste, oregano, chili flakes and cook for 1 more minute.
5. Add roasted eggplant and tomato mixture into the pan with half of basil and mix well.6. Add drained pasta, parmesan cheese. Toss well to combine, continue cooking for 30 seconds to marry the flavors with pasta.
- 7. Remove from heat, add remaining chopped basil, more Parmesan if like and serve immediately.
Some Tips for Cooking Perfect Pasta Every time:
Always cook pasta per package directions. Make sure to use the labeled amount of water and stir frequently. To ensure good taste and texture, be sure to use enough water when boiling pasta and to rinse with warm water after draining.
Always reserve pasta water after draining cooked pasta. You can even bring day-old pasta to life with a few tablespoons of pasta water without compromising the flavor of sauce.
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