Fettuccine with Eggplant, Tomato, and Blue Cheese


Fettuccine with Eggplant, Tomato, and Blue Cheese

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March 29, 2017

Fettuccine with Eggplant, Tomato, and Blue Cheese


1/2 large eggplant, diced into 3/4-inch cubes

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Salt for cooking water

1/4-1/3 pound fettuccine

1/4 medium or large red onion, thinly sliced

1 medium clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or other wine vinegar

1 large Roma tomato, diced

1/2 cup tomato sauce

2-3 large white button mushrooms, diced

Crushed red pepper to taste (3/4 teaspoon provides a good kick)

Handful fresh basil leaves, sliced into thin strips

1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

4 ounces blue cheese (plus more for topping), cut or crumbled into small chunks

1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Toss the eggplant with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and spread in a single layer on a small baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the eggplant is brown and tender.

2 Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt the water and add the fettuccine. Slightly under cook the pasta, 1-2 minutes less then the package directions suggest.

3 While the pasta is cooking, heat a large saute pan and cook the onion in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil until golden. Add the garlic, stir, and cook for 1 minute. Add the vinegar to deglaze the pan (scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon while stirring). Add the roasted eggplant, tomato, tomato sauce, mushrooms, crushed red pepper, and most of the basil (reserve a few strips for topping). Heat until just simmering.

4 Using a pair of tongs, transfer the fettuccine directly into the sauce and toss gently; reserve the pasta water. Add the parsley, blue cheese, and the extra-virgin olive oil to the pasta and sauce, tossing again to combine. Add 2-4 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and allow the dish to cook for 1-2 minutes; the cheese should melt down and mix with the liquid to create a luxurious sauce. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary with salt, pepper, and/or more crushed red pepper. Serve hot, with the remaining basil and additional blue cheese on top.