First of all, I’d like to say thank God I can have heavy cream! 🙂 A few nights ago, I made an eggplant pasta recipe by Giada de Laurentiis. I couldn’t find the recipe on her website, but I got it out of her book, Giada’s Kitchen.
You chop up an eggplant and 3 cloves of garlic and put into a large bowl with cherry tomatoes. You toss it all together with some oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Then you spread it out onto a pan and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. Afterwards, you puree it all in a food processor with a bit more oil to create your sauce. Meanwhile, I cooked rice penne style pasta, reserving the pasta water, and roasted some pine nuts in the oven. You mix the pasta with the puree in a large bowl, adding 1 1/2 cups pasta water a 1/2 cup at a time to make it saucy. You add some parmesan cheese and sprinkle the pine nuts on top. I’ve never had pine nuts in a dish like this and boy, were they awesome. The aroma alone while they are roasting is to die for! Now, this recipe could be dairy-free if you used pecorino romano, which is a sheep’s cheese. That would be just as great!
Stephen and I had this for dinner a couple of nights ago. It was really great! We had leftovers, of course, which I got out last night for dinner. It looked a little flat so I decided to spruce it up for another meal. I put one serving of the leftover dish in a pan on the stove and added some cream, probably 1/2 cup or so. I heated it up, letting the cream thicken slightly with the eggplant puree. To serve, I topped it off with some fresh grated parmesan cheese. Now that the pine nuts were really mixed in with the dish, there was a great nutty flavor. The creamy eggplant sauce was terrific! I think I might even like the recipe with the cream added a little better than the original one! Here is a picture of the cream sauce version: