If you find yourself asking, “what can I do with this one small eggplant,” or one piece of sausage, or maybe even just one left over serving of roast chicken, know that you can make some pasta and have it both ways. The walnut, rosemary, eggplant combination was created looking for yet another way to use the freshly cut rosemary that was given to me.
Let me get right to it. This is a quick dinner. Thinly slice, salt and sweat the eggplant. Put a pot of water on the stove to boil (for pasta). Place a saute pan on stove with some garlic, olive oil and chopped walnuts. Chop up some rosemary very fine. Remove the toasted walnuts to a dish, and toss the eggplant into the same saute pan. By now the pasta should be cooked and dinner is ready. One pot. One pan. One chopping board.
Why walnuts? Walnuts are brain food, and nutrition dense. They are a satisfying protein replacement. They love olive oil and rosemary and sit well on top of pasta. Just make sure to toast them, or saute them because they will not have the same wonderful flavor and crunch otherwise. During the holidays, I made angel hair pasta with walnuts and pecans here, stacked perfectly for a party.
This is my kind of dinner. This is the way I love to cook. What’s left over? How can I give it a new twist, keep it simple, and still really delicious. There is no recipe. There is no high expectation. It’s budget conscious, practical, nutritious, time saving and delicious. But, it’s not hamburger helper, or drive-through food. It’s what I meant when I said cooking food a woman would love and man would marry her for. He gets the sausage, I get the walnuts. His is hearty, mine is lighter. We’re both happy.
Meat Option Vegetarian Option
Recipe for Walnut Pasta with Eggplant
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 pound pasta
- Course Sea Salt
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped coarsely (use less if you prefer)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 – 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary (or substitute any fresh herb)
- Olive oil
- Sea salt, pepper,
- Pecorino cheese, freshly grated (optional)
- Slice eggplant into thin slices, leaving skin on. Salt both sides, allow to sit for 30 minutes. Drain on paper towels. (salting removes extra moisture and bitterness).
- Bring large pot of salted water to boil.
- Saute garlic in olive oil, until soft. Do not burn. Immediately add in walnuts, and rosemary, and saute about 6-10 minutes on medium heat, just until walnuts are toasted. You Can also toast walnuts in the oven. Toss LIGHTLY with olive oil and rosemary.
- Remove walnuts to a bowl. Add in eggplant to same pan. Saute until soft on medium heat.
- Cook pasta according to directions.
- Drain pasta, toss with eggplant, nuts and rosemary mixture.
- Season with sea salt and pepper
- Toss with pecorino cheese (optional)