Home Page

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Penne with Grilled Eggplant, Goat Cheese and Mint

I've been cooking up a healthy, nutritious storm ever since I got home from my camping trip. I think I just ate one more roasted marshmallow than my metabolism (or even the metabolism of a marathon runner) could reasonably handle. So prepare yourselves for a bit of a calorie slow-down on Janet is Hungry (don't worry though, it never lasts long).

This was what I made for dinner on Sunday night when we got home from camping. It has no meat. I seldom make dinner with no meat, because Mario is a real "meat and potatoes" sort of guy. But he really liked this. The recipe made so much that he was able to take it for lunch on Monday and Tuesday. He ate it cold for lunch, and said it was just as good cold as it was hot.

I found this recipe in the August 2007 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. I made some changes (as usual). The original recipe called for zucchini, but my regular grocery store had sold out and I really didn't feel like traipsing all over the city for zucchini. I also used goat cheese instead of Ricotta Salata which is a firmer salty Ricotta that I would have probably had to get at a specialty store.

I served the pasta with garlic and olive oil bruschetta and a salad with fresh peaches.

Penne with Grilled Eggplant, Goat Cheese and Mint

1 large eggplant
olive oil, for brushing
coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
2 pinches dried red pepper flakes
1 pound penne
3 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (about 3oz)

1. Slice eggplant in 1/2" slices and brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper.

2. Put the pasta on to boil.

3. While the pasta is cooking, grill eggplant on BBQ for about 5 minutes per side, until browned.

4. In a large bowl add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, red pepper flakes and fresh mint.

5. When the eggplant comes off the BBQ, cut it up into bite size chunks and add to bowl. Add pasta to bowl and toss. Toss in the crumbled cheese (save a few pieces to sprinkle on top).