When we moved into our new house 2 years ago, I fell head over heels for our gas stove. And one of the best things about it, is the way I can roast peppers and eggplant right over the flame as I did for this vegan pasta recipe. Toasted cashews, ginger and roasted eggplant with lots of citrus make this a meaty pasta – without the meat of course.
Now if you don’t have a gas stove, you can char an eggplant under your broiler of course too. You can also feel better about not having a gas stove as there are some downsides. Like the time I left the gas on overnight and almost killed the family? Right. Yeah, that was no good. Do make sure you check those burners when you are done, k?
Roasted Eggplant and Cashew Pasta(serves 2)
Char your eggplant on all sides until blackened. (You can do this directly over a medium flame on your stove top, or under your broiler). Once charred, place in a bowl and cover with saran wrap. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, this will make it easier to peel.
In the meantime, place the cashews in a small skillet over medium heat. Toss often until lightly toasted and fragrant. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until the cashews are a fine crumb.
Place a large pot of water on to boil. While waiting for the water to boil, use a paring knife to peel the skin off the eggplant and discard the green top. Roughly chop the flesh and add to the food processor. Pulse with the cashews until smooth.
When the water is boiling, generously salt (think a tablespoon or more of salt) and add pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions In a medium saucepan, place oil and grated ginger and turn the heat on to medium. When the ginger starts to sizzle, use a wooden spoon to stir for a minute until it appears to "melt" into the oil. Transfer the eggplant and cashew mixture to the pot as well.
Use a cup measure to grab some hot pasta water from the boiling pasta water, and slowly stir into the eggplant mixture until it is thinned out into a sauce (about 1/2 cup of water). Stir in fresh parsley and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it and add to the saucepan. Toss with the sauce and squeeze the lemon on top. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot.