RECIPE

Roasted Eggplant Pasta and Pesto Topping for Broiled Lamb Chops or Fish

Luscious roasted eggplant, herb and cheese sauce is a tasty topping for pasta with herb seasoned lamb chops or fish.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley
  • A couple sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 pound capricci pasta curls or other short-cut pasta
  • 8 French-cut lamb chops or 4 fillets snapper or other mild fish
  • 1 cup diced cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino cheese

Preparation

Heat the oven to 400°F. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and, with a sharp paring knife, crosshatch the flesh on an angle 1/2-inch apart and all around the edge. Drizzle a baking sheet with EVOO and season the eggplant with salt and pepper. Place the eggplant cut-side down and roast for 20 minutes, until very tender.


Meanwhile, process the herbs, lemon zest and garlic into a fine chop. Place half of the mixture in a pasta bowl, half in a small dish. Add the lemon juice and 1/3 cup EVOO to the small bowl; season with salt and pepper.


Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water and once the eggplant is done, cook the pasta to al dente, reserving 1 cup of the starchy cooking water just before draining.

Switch on the broiler and drizzle the chops or fish with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Broil the chops for 3 minutes on each side for medium-rare in the upper third of the oven or broil the fish for 8-10 minutes until firm and opaque. Top the chops or fish with herbs mixed with EVOO and the chopped tomatoes.


Scoop the eggplant flesh into the pasta bowl with the remaining herbs and add the Pecorino. Mix in the starchy cooking water and pasta; toss to combine. Serve the pasta alongside the chops or fish.

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Rachael Ray