If you love eggplant—and I do love eggplant—this will become your new go-to dish.
Pasta Con Crema Di MelanzanePrint This
- 1 lb (500 g) penne pasta
- ¼ cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium eggplants, unpeeled and cubed
- Salt, QB
- ½ cup (125 mL) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for
- ½ cup (125 mL) table (18%) or whipping (35%) cream (or QB)
- ¼ cup (60 mL) pine nuts, toasted
- 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- Fresh basil, QB
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Start making your sauce and pasta at the same time.
Put a large pot of water on to boil. When the water boils, salt it, drop in the penne and give it a quick stir.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the eggplant and season with some salt. Fry the eggplant, stirring occasionally, until soft and slightly golden.
Transfer the cooked eggplant to a blender. Add about a 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the pasta cooking water (just scoop it out while the pasta is cooking) and the cream and Parmigiano. Blend until smooth. If there are some bits of skin, I personally don’t mind that, but you can remove them if you want.
Pour the eggplant cream into the pan and warm it over medium heat.
Just before your penne is al dente, drain it, reserving about 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the pasta cooking water.
Add the cooked pasta to the eggplant cream along with a just a little bit more of the pasta cooking water. Toss to combine, and finish cooking the pasta in the sauce for about a minute or so.
Divide the pasta among four serving plates and top each with the pine nuts, cherry tomatoes and a basil leaf. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a fresh grate of Parmigiano.