Penne or Ziti with Roasted Eggplant, Bell Peppers and Olives

Eggplant and bell peppers

This delightful pasta dish, filled with roasted eggplant and peppers, will pique your senses. Make it for a family dinner, buffet entrée, or potluck dish. It could even make a great barbecue side dish, if you cook the veggies on the grill instead of in the oven.

Serves: 6

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes
    (try Italian-style or fire-roasted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Dried hot red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped black olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 10 to 12 ounces penne or ziti (or substitute other chunky pasta),
    preferably whole grain
  • 4 ounces vegan mozzarella cheese, grated or finely diced, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Prick the eggplant a few times with a fork. Place it on foil-line baking sheet or roasting pan.

Remove the stems and seeds from the peppers and cut in half. Place on the baking sheet, cut side down. Place the peppers in the oven with the eggplant and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until their skin is lightly charred. Remove the peppers with tongs and continue to bake the eggplant until it collapses, another 20 to 25 minutes.

When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, cut the flesh away from the peel. Discard the peel and chop the flesh into bite-sized pieces. Cut the bell peppers into 2-inch-long strips.

Cook the pasta in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden. Add the eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, oregano, and optional red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir the olives and parsley into the sauce. Combine with the pasta in a large serving bowl, stir in the mozzarella and toss together. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss again. Serve at once.

Variation: For an even heartier dish, add a 15- to 16-ounce can of drained and rinsed cannellini (large white beans) or chickpeas.

*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

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