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Fusilli with Roasted Eggplant, Roma Tomatoes, Pine Nuts, Currants

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1 pd. Fusilli pasta
2 16-oz. (or medium) eggplants, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch-thick slices
3 tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
3/4 cup currants
1 pint half and half
3 cups Roma tomatoes, cut into quarters and roasted.
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Red pepper flakes


Place eggplant slices on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Let stand 20 minutes. Turn eggplants slices over. Sprinkle with salt. Let stand 20 minutes longer. Rinse eggplant. Drain; pat dry with paper towels. Cut eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add eggplant; sauté until tender, about 10 minutes (eggplant can also be roasted in a 350 oven for about 45 minutes or until done with the roma tomatoes on a baking sheet, covered with olive oil and salt) Stir in pine nuts, and currants. Sauté 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add half and half and cook for a few more minutes over medium flame. Cook pasta al-dente. Drain, return pasta to pot.Transfer to a large bowl. Toss the eggplant, tomatoes, pine nuts, currants, and cream sauce, and cheese with the pasta. Salt and pepper to taste. Add red pepper flakes. Add fresh basil. Mix well.

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