The theme for this week’s recipe swap was Vegetarian and I was really excited at the prospect of adding another vegetarian meal to my repertoire. The recipe Jenna sent me looked intriguing.
We fired up the grill and got to work slicing and prepping. I love eggplant but I’ve only cooked with it once before, making the infamous Scalini’s Eggplant Parmesan, which has been said to induce labor in late term pregnant women (it didn’t work, btw).
Once the eggplant came off the grill, I took a bite. Turns out, eggplant is incredibly bitter if not prepped correctly (here’s a tip on how to get rid of the bitter moisture), and I of course, failed at removing enough of the bitterness by undersalting and laying the eggplant flat on a plate.
So while I’m sad that the eggplant didn’t turn out as I’d hoped, we ate the pasta with the remaining ingredients and really enjoyed it. It was a nice, light meal for a crisp evening.
Spicy Grilled Eggplant Pasta – adapted from Better Recipes
- 1 Eggplant
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Tbsp. Oregano
- 1 tsp. Ground Red Pepper
- Salt (use more than you think is necessary, the eggplant will sweat it out)
- 1 Onion, cut into quarters
- 1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/2 Package Penne Pasta
- 1/4 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- 6-8 Fresh Basil Leaves, roughly torn
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place a colander into a large bowl
Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch thick rounds and place into . Salt the eggplant then squeeze the juice from the lemon over them, followed by the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Allow the eggplant to sit and drain for 15-20 minutes, then sprinkle oregano and red pepper flakes over the slices.
Lightly toss tomatoes and onions with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and garlic and place into a grill basket. Grill for 8-10 minutes, turning the eggplant slices once and stirring the onions and tomatoes occasionally, until slightly charred.
While the eggplant, tomatoes and onion are cooking, boil the pasta in salted water to al dente, as directed on package.
When the eggplant is done, slice into bite sized pieces. Toss pasta with tomatoes, onions, and eggplant, then sprinkle with parmesan cheese and basil and toss gently once more.