Eggplant gets a bad rap. Draped with a ton of cheese and dripping in batter is the most popular American rendition of Eggplant Parmesan. However, the true flavor of eggplant is masked under these heavy ingredients. This dish focuses on the smoky flavor of the smaller Italian variety and adds a nice element to a typical pasta salad. This recipe requires little preparation and delivers on flavor. Tossed with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, the eggplant was roasted in a sheet pan on the outdoor grill. While I normally opt for homemade dressing, this time I used Newman's Own Balsamic, which of all the store bought dressings tastes quite fresh.
Roasted Eggplant Pasta Salad
1 lb box of Rigatoni
2 small Italian eggplant's, chopped into 1/2 in. pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 springs green onion, chopped
2 roma tomatoes seeded and chopped
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup Newman's Own Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Toss eggplant pieces with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place eggplant pieces on half a sheet pan and place on hot grill. Roast for about 15 minutes until eggplant pieces are golden. Let pieces cool. In a large bowl toss the pasta, eggplant pieces, tomato and green onion. Pour in the dressing and mix well. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.