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Penne with Almond Pesto & Eggplant – The Secret Recipe Club

  • Yield: 6 - 8 servings 1x



For pesto:

  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil
  • 20 grape tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons grated aged cheese like Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano

For eggplant:

  • 1 large eggplant, cubed or sliced into 1/2-inch thickness
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the pasta:

  • 1 pound cooked penne pasta (I use a mix of regular and whole wheat – DeCecco brand)


  1. In a blender or using an immersion mixture, puree garlic, almonds and salt into a paste. Add basil, tomatoes and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Hand mix in cheese. Set aside.
  2. To make the eggplant, soaked the cut up eggplant in cold water with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let soak for 30 minutes and then drain.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large skillet and add half of the eggplant. Saute for 8-10 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Heat the other tablespoon of olive oil and cook the rest of the eggplant.
  4. To serve, toss penne with pesto and eggplant. Garnish with basil leaves, if desired and serve with extra grated Pecorino or Parmigiano cheese.


Adapted from Manu’s Menu recipe: Busiati with Pesto Trapanese and Fried Eggplant