Pasta with eggplant pesto
- Lactose Free
- Difficulty: Easy
- Prep time: 10 min
- Cook time: 60 min
- Serving: 4 people
- Cost: Low
Today we're showcasing eggplant in this tasty and genuine first course laden with summer aromas: pasta with eggplant pesto! Pesto is a creative way of making the most of seasonal vegetables: unlike the genoese version, eggplant pulp is enriched with almond, grana cheese, lemon peel and mint, which perfectly balance the savory flavors, aroma and freshness in this condiment! The result is an enveloping and creamy pesto, perfect served with long pasta shapes, like bavette. Prepare pasta with eggplant pesto for a summer lunch and if the heat is especially unforgiving, try serving it at room temperature: you will feel the flavors even more and all your guests will ask for seconds!
To prepare pasta with eggplant pesto, start by cooking the eggplants: wash and dry them, place them on an oven tray lined with parchment paper 1, pierce them with the prongs of a fork and bake in a ventilated oven preheated to 428°F (220°C), for 45-50 minutes. Once the eggplants are done, remove the baking tray from the oven and leave to cool 2. In the meantime, bring a saucepan full of salted water to the boil, you'll need it for cooking the pasta. Tip the eggplants and cut them in half 3,
then remove the pulp using a spoon 4. Place the pulp in a fine mesh colander over a bowl and press down with the back of a spoon or a fork 5 to remove the excess water 6.
By now you will have brought the water in the pan to the boil, so cook the bavette pasta 7 and in the meantime, continue preparing the eggplant pesto. Place the eggplant pulp in a bladed mixer and add the peeled almonds 8, the grated grana cheese 9,
the grated lemon peel 10 and the extra virgin olive oil 11. Add salt and pepper to taste, blend for a short burst to obtain a dense and rather creamy puree 12.
Coarsely chop the mint with a knife 13, then place the eggplant pesto in a large pan (away from the heat), add a ladle of pasta cooking water 14 and the coarsely chopped mint leaves 15.
Drain the pasta when firm to the bite and place it straight in the pan with the eggplant pesto 16. Remove from the stove and stir the pasta thoroughly together with the sauce, add a little more pasta cooking water if necessary 17. Your pasta with eggplant pesto is ready to be served, hot or at room temperature 18!
Pasta with eggplant pesto can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container, for up to a day. You can place eggplant pesto inside a glass jar, cover with oil and store it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Eggplant pesto can be frozen in small jars and defrosted at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
You can enrich eggplant pesto with raw or confit cheery tomatoes, for an extra touch of color and flavor to your pasta dish! If you prefer, you can flavor the pesto with basil instead of mint leaves, or replace the grana cheese with pecorino, for a more decisive flavor.