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Roasted Eggplant Pasta and Pesto Topping for Broiled Lamb Chops or Fish

Serves 4

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling plus 1/3 cup
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • A couple of sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
  • A few sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 1 pound capricci pasta curls or other short-cut pasta
  • 8 French-cut lamb chops or 4 filets snapper or other mild fish
  • 1 cup diced cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino cheese
PREPARATION

Heat oven to 400F. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise and, with a sharp paring knife, crosshatch the flesh on an angle 1/2-inch apart and all around the edge. Drizzle a baking sheet with EVOO and season the eggplant with salt and pepper. Place eggplant cut-side down and roast 20 minutes, until very tender.

Meanwhile, process the herbs, lemon zest and garlic into a fine chop. Place half the mixture in a pasta bowl, half in a small dish. Add juice of 1 lemon and EVOO to the small bowl, season with salt and pepper.

Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt water and once eggplant is done, cook pasta to al dente, reserving 1 cup starchy water just before draining.

Switch on broiler and drizzle the chops or fish with EVOO and season with salt and pepper, Broil chops 3 minutes on each side for medium-rare in upper third of oven or broil fish 8-10 minutes until firm and opaque. Top chops or fish with herbs mixed with oil and the chopped tomatoes.

Scoop eggplant flesh into the pasta bowl with remaining herbs and add pecorino. Mix in starchy cooking water and pasta, toss to combine. Serve pasta alongside chops or fish.

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