Summer pasta w/ salsa cruda + roast eggplant
This summer pasta could not be simpler. Roast eggplant tossed with fresh tomatoes and basil. Although it is absolutely delicious vegan, it is even better topped with a little creamy Bulgarian feta. I wish I could make this dish in gloomy January. If only tomatoes were nice year-round!
2 cups dry short tube pasta (I like any whole-wheat type made in Italy, or Lidia’s brand)
4 ripe vine tomatoes, washed
1 small bunch fresh basil
1 medium eggplant, washed sliced in thick coins
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1T balsamic vinegar
salt + pepper
hot pepper flakes
Bulgarian feta (optional, small amount for topping)
Preheat oven to 350. Set pot of salted water to boil.
Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Use the back of a spoon to coat sheet lightly in olive oil.
Toss eggplant coins in a large bowl with olive oil, hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Lay on baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes, until slices are creamy with a browned edge. Remove eggplant from oven and set to cool.
Wash and spin basil. Use your hands to separate leaves from stalk. Tear leaves into bite-sized pieces and toss into a large bowl.
Chop tomatoes. Scrape out seeds and liquid. Mix tomato seeds and liquid with minced garlic and balsamic vinegar, and set aside.
Now slice eggplant coins into smaller pieces. Toss in large bowl with tomatoes and basil. Add vinegar mix.
Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, saving a little cooking water. Add about a ladle of pasta water to sauce and toss with pasta in large bowl.
Serve immediately in soup bowls. Top with the optional crumble of feta, extra salt and a dash of olive oil.