Roasted Eggplant & Mushroom Pasta w/ Caramelized Onions

 

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Sundays are super easy leisurely days!  No work, no school…we are all happy to lounge around doing nothing much.  I love uncomplicated simple meals on these days.  Mostly I work with whatever’s in the refrigerator. Its fun to whip up meals using bits and bobs.  And that’s what led to this no- frill, rustic  roasted eggplant mushroom pasta dinner.

Eggplant is an incredibly versatile vegetable, popular all over the world.  Healthy and filling, this glossy purple vegetable ( actually fruit) is used extensively in vegetarian cuisine  due to its creamy, meaty texture and earthy flavor.  It stands up very well to grilling, roasting, baking, sauteing, frying.  Its gorgeous in simmering curries, velvety dips, refreshing asian salads, raitas and of course our favorite baigan bharta!

That glorious taste also comes loaded with health enablers!  Eggplant is a great source of fibre, iron, copper, and phytonutrients….things that help us fight anemia, boost our cognitive abilities, and helps us battle  diabetes and blood pressure.  Not too bad!!

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In this lip smackin’ recipe,  roasted eggplants and mushrooms meld beautifully with the  fresh tomato sauce, caramelized onions and heaps of garlic giving the sauce a rich, well rounded taste. This sauce is truly the hero here.  I can think of eating it with rice, on top of polenta or just scooping it with a crusty garlicky bread..more garlic, I know!!

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I used feta cheese here as that’s what I had at home. Goats’ cheese,  torn up mozzarella or shaved parmesan would be fantastic too.  Rigatoni is a good pasta for  tomato based meat or vegetable sauces as it holds the sauce well.  Penne would be a good substitute.

This is a simple, unpretentious dish but it sure is a winner.  Give it a try, I promise you’ll keep coming back for more!

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THE RECIPE

Rigatoni pasta – 300 gm

Eggplant – 500 gm, diced

Mushrooms – 400 gm, quartered

Garlic – 8 cloves, whole

Onion – 2, thinly sliced

Dried thyme – 1 tsp

Dried oregano – 1 tsp

Chilli flakes – 2 tsp

Olive oil – 4 Tbsp

Tomato sauce 400 gm ( I used homemade)

Basil leaves – a handful

Feta cheese for topping

Salt & Pepper to taste.

How to:

Preheat the oven to 220C.  Toss the diced eggplants, mushrooms and whole garlic cloves with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Spread them out in a single layer on a baking tray. Roast for about 25-30 minutes or until the vegetables are browned and tender.

Put a large pot of water on the stove for the pasta.  Cover and let it come to a boil. Add 2 tsp of salt and the pasta.  Cook till al dente or just done. Drain the pasta, but do save a cup of the pasta water for later use.

Meanwhile, heat a large pan with the  remaining olive oil.  Saute  onions with the dried oregano, thyme and chilli flakes, till nicely caramelized. This should take about 15 minutes. Add the roasted vegetables, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Combine the drained pasta gently with the sauce. If it seems too thick add some of that pasta water you’d saved.

Sprinkle some torn basil leaves and feta cheese  on top and  serve immediately.

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2 Comments on "Roasted Eggplant & Mushroom Pasta w/ Caramelized Onions"

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Anjali

It’s awesome 🙂

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