Fusilli with Puréed Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Sauce

1-1/2 pounds purple eggplant
1 pound dried fusilli
1-1/2 cups good-quality prepared tomato sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup (about) freshly grated Romano cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
red pepper flakes to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

With a sharp knife, pierce eggplant all over its surface. Place on a foil lined tray and roast in oven until eggplant is tender, about 45 minutes.

When eggplant is cool enough to handle, cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out flesh of both halves. Chop or process until mixture is a near purée.

Cook pasta in rapidly boiling, salted water until al dente. While water is coming to a boil and as pasta is cooking, combine eggplant purée with tomato sauce, half of the parsley and half of the cheese. Heat combination at a simmer. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

When pasta is cooked, drain well and toss with the olive oil in a large, heated bowl. Mix in sauce, toss well and portion into 4 bowls or onto 4 plates. Top each plate or bowl with some of the remaining cheese and parsley. Serve warm.

Serves 4.

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