Dishing Up the Dirt

Pork Sausage Pasta with Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Sauce

Quick weeknight dinners don’t get easier or more delicious than this simple pasta. We’re pretty excited that finally (almost a month late this season) our tomatoes and eggplants are cranking at the farm. It’s been a cooler than usual summer for us and our hot weather crops were slow to get going this year. However, after months of seeding, transplanting, watering, weeding, watering and weeding some more, we’re finally reaping the rewards of a full season’s worth of work. I love roasted eggplant more than just about anything (it really tastes like summer to me) and in this particular dish I wanted to celebrate the first of the tomatoes as well so I roasted a sheet pans worth of chopped up eggplant, cherry tomatoes and garlic. I then added the roasted veggies to a food processor (you can use a blender too) with some freshly cut basil and olive oil and blended away until smooth and creamy. I thinned the sauce out a bit with a bit of pasta water after the pasta cooked and paired with some grilled sausage links this tasty number has quickly become one of our favorite summertime meals to date. I hope you all love this dish as much as we do.

Cheers to the summer bounty everyone!

Pork Sausage Pasta with Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 25 minutes    Serves: 4

  • 2 pork sausage links
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes (no need to peel)
  • 1 pint (2 cups) cherry tomatoes
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • 1 pound dried  pasta (rigatoni, bow ties, macaroni, spaghetti)
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves, plus a couple extra, slivered for topping
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Preparation

  1. Heat an outdoor grill to medium high heat. Grill the sausage links until cooked through and lightly charred. Remove from the heat and when cool enough to handle slice them into thin rounds. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  3. In a large bowl combine the eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Spread the vegetables out in an even layer on the baking sheet. Roast in the oven until the vegetables are tender and the eggplant is golden, about 30-40 minutes. Toss the veggies halfway through cooking.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta reserving a cup or so of the cooking water.
  5. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor or blender. Add the basil leaves, vinegar, and additional 3 tablespoons olive oil. Blend until smooth. Return the pasta to the cooking pot, along with the sausage and pour the sauce over it and a splash (about 1/3 cup) of the reserved pasta water tossing so that the pasta is evenly coated. Heat over medium-high  for 1 to 2 minutes. Add more pasta cooking water, a little at a time as needed to thin the sauce.
  6. Divide between bowls and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and thinly sliced basil leaves.

Notes

Use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary


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