Smokey Eggplant Pasta

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Inevitably, we get a flush of eggplant right as the season starts to change in September when market goers are more excited about squash and brussel sprouts. When we bring eggplant home from market, I’m secretly so, so excited because I can preserve it for the dark days of winter by grilling it, pureeing it and freezing it in quart bags. You don’t need to freeze this, it is just as good fresh, but you do need to give it a good long time on the grill. Cook it on the side of a hot fire until the eggplant collapses. It is also important to prick the eggplant all over to release the steam created under the skin during cooking. If you don’t you risk an exploding eggplant, which is hilarious after giving a very serious fright.

  • 2 medium eggplant
  • 1 C olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • pinch chili flakes
  • 1 lb dried long pasta, bucatini is my favorite
  • ½ C bread crumbs
  • 4 T butter
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1 bu parley, chopped
  • ½ C almonds, toasted and chopped
  1. Leave the eggplants whole, but prick the eggplant all over
  2. Grill dry on medium heat until the eggplants collapse when pressed by a firm finger
  3. Remove the stem from the eggplant and puree in a food processor, skin and all, with the salt and chili flakes
  4. When smooth, drizzle in the olive oil and see it emulsify
  5. In a frying pan, heat the butter until foamy, add the bread crumbs and toast stirring occasionally, until golden brown
  6. Add the lemon zest, parsley and almonds to the bread crumbs
  7. In heavily salted water, boil the pasta until al dente
  8. Toss with the eggplant puree
  9. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed
  10. Transfer to a serving platter and then cover with the bread crumb mixture
  11. Serve immediately

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