Monday, April 19, 2010

Evelyn's Favorite Pasta

This is not a new recipe for me, but I have now made it twice and the Hubs and I love it. It is the only vegetarian meal that the Hubs doesn't say "If this had meat...".

Evelyn's Favorite Pasta

1/4c EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
3 cloves garlic, minced, pressed, or grated (I did minced)
salt and pepper
2 Chinese eggplants (I used 1 large eggplant)
1 large head of broccoli
1 can artichoke hearts, halved or quartered
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3c pine nuts
1/4c kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1/3c freshly grated Parmesan cheese (low fat to make it healthier)
1/3c prepared pesto
8-12oz penne pasta (I used Barilla Plus Wheat) (I used the entire box)
handful of fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade

Remove the ends from the eggplant. Slice long ways, in thirds, and lay on a cutting board. Heavily salt cut sides of eggplant, cover with paper towel and then another cutting board. Place a weight on top of the board. Let stand for 30 minutes, then rinse eggplant well and cut into 2 inch long pieces.

**NOTE** I do not have 2 cutting boards (I have a beginner's kitchen). So I used plates and for a weight I use cans of soup or beans or whatever and cover the entire plate.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. When the eggplant is ready and chopped, place in a large bowl. Add chopped broccoli, artichokes, and tomatoes. Combine garlic and EVOO in a small bowl with about 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper; mix well. Add EVOO mixture to the vegetables and toss to coat. Spread on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with olive oil. Roast vegetables for about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, start heating water for the pasta in a large pot. Heat a small saute pan over medium heat, and add pine nuts. Heat for a few minutes, tossing frequently, until nuts are lightly toasted, then set aside. When the pasta water has come to a boil, salt generously and add the pasta. Cook according to box instructions.

When the pasta is done, drain and add to a large bowl. Add roasted vegetables, kalamata olives, cheese, pesto, and toss to combine. Serve and garnish with toasted pine nuts and basil.

This recipe is so good. It has a hearty texture (which I believe is why the Hubs doesn't miss meat). This recipe was enough for dinner that night, lunch at work 2 days for me, and dinner another night. That is a lot.

One thing I will say is this is not a week night dinner for me. It doesn't take THAT long, but it is a little long for me. I definitely want this to be a meal I make at least once a month.

Just righting this entry makes me want to make it again. It is that good.

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