LA keeps playing tricks on us… one day it’s 90 degrees and the next it’s below 60 and I’m snuggled up under my covers; too cold to even dare move! Fortunately I didn’t have to get up any time soon… Sunday’s are meant for sleeping and binge eating anyways right? So that’s exactly what I did this past weekend… what’s the perfect recipe for a lazy Sunday or any cozy evening? Well that’s easy, roasted eggplant & smoked mozzarella pasta!… with great flavors that you might recognize from your local Pizzeria… but without the added butter, or unnecessary ingredients that tend to multiply the calories and weight to your favorite hearty dishes.
This dish is honestly my FAVORITE to order at Italian restaurants… but Eggplants have also been too intimidating to master at home! I mean, it looks like a placenta… and if you don’t cook it right… it probably tastes like one too. Eggplant undercooked can easily be rubbery and tasteless… thankfully I’ve figured out the key of roasting eggplant heightening flavor and texture… and with the simple touch of smoked melted mozzarella to tie the dish together and some red pepper flakes for a little ZING… it’s practically perfect!
Cozy up & Enjoy!
1 box of barilla PLUS PROTEIN pasta (this has more protein than other brands)
1 ball of smoked mozzarella (slice into small chunks & set aside)
a small handful of basil and parsley for garnish (chop & set aside)
1 jar of organic tomato sauce
make sure you have plenty of salt, pepper, & hot pepper flakes
Here’s what you do:
Boil the pasta
slice the eggplant horizontally into half an inch pieces (not too tiny so that they break apart, but enough so that they will really crisp up in the oven!)
set them a side on a paper towel and sprinkle a half a tablespoon of salt on top so they “sweat” for at least 15 minutes– I don’t have the patience for longer than that! But sweating allows for some of that moisture to dissipate for an even better crispy result.
Pat down the eggplant with a paper towel, and then place the the eggplant on a non-stick baking sheet and put the oven on 400 degrees
Sprinkle another half a tablespoon of salt & pepper on the eggplant and pour on 2 tablespoons of olive oil– coating the eggplant!
Lastly– Roast it up! I usually give it about a half an hour– but it may vary depending on your oven!
Just keep an eye on it– you’ll know it’s done when it’s a beautiful purple brown!
Heat up the tomato sauce in a sauce pan & generously add the mozzarella, herbs & eggplant to the sauce! Finally, shake in some red pepper flakes for good measure!