- 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
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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