This is my spin on a classic Sicilian dish. Instead of frying the potatoes and eggplant, I brush them with olive oil and roast the vegetables in the oven. This method carmelizes all of the natural sugars and adds a depth of flavor.
1 1/2 Pounds Of Fusilli Pasta
A Medium Sized Eggplant Peeled And Cut Into About 3/4 Inch Cubes
A Medium Yukon Gold Potato Peeled And Cut Into About 3/4 Inch Cubes
1/2 Cup Of Olive Oil, Divided
Two Teaspoons Of Sea Salt, Divided
1/2 Teaspoon Of Ground Black Pepper, Divided
Six Fresh Roma Tomatoes Sliced In Half
15 Fresh Basil Leaves
A Minced Garlic Clove
1/4 Cup Of Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Place the cut potatoes and the cut eggplant on a sheet pan that has been lightly brushed with olive oil. Brush the vegetables with a 1/4 cup of olive oil. Sprinkle the potatoes and the eggplant with 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Roast the vegetables in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes until they are lightly browned.
Place the tomatoes, the basil leaves, the garlic, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper, and the grated Romano cheese into a food processor. Pulse until fairly smooth but not soupy. Taste and add more sea salt, ground black pepper, and/or grated cheese, if desired.
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions in a pot of boiling, salted water. Drain the pasta well in a colander.
Place the cooked pasta into a large mixing bowl. Add the tomato pesto. Mix well so that all of the pasta gets coated with the pesto sauce. Add the roasted potatoes and the eggplant on top of the pasta. Serve with more grated Pecorino Romano cheese.