I love roasting vegetables. It does so much to sweeten and deepen their flavors. This is a great ‘end of summer’ salad because it will use up your stockpile of summer veggies.
But this tomato and eggplant pasta salad is perfect to make any time of the year, really. Chewy spirals of cavatappi are coated with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese while warm. The eggplant and tomatoes are slow roasted in balsamic vinegar and oil, and then are tossed in with all of their juices. Top it with some toasted pine nuts, fresh chopped basil and shards of parmesan.
This is a perfect pasta salad when tomatoes are at their peak. But it’s also good in the winter, because the roasting does wonders for those tomatoes that are not as lush.
Too bad the roasting mutes the veggie’s beautiful, vibrant colors. But the trade off is amazing flavor!
I chose baby roma tomatoes and baby fairytale eggplant because I love them roasted and because they caught my eye at the farm market. But really you can add any vegetable that you love to roast.
If you can’t find baby veggies, use regular tomatoes and eggplant. And honestly, the proportion of veggies isn’t so exact. Use more or less to suit your liking.
I think this is best served warm or at room temperature. Serve it with a little extra olive oil to drizzle.
- 2 pounds of roma tomatoes
- 2 pounds of baby eggplant
- 1 pound of cavatappi
- ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
- 4 Tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar, divided
- a heavy ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese
- 2 ounces of parmesan shards
- ½ cup of chopped fresh basil
- ¼ cup of toasted pine nuts
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or foil
- Cut the tomatoes and eggplants in half and lay them on the baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons of olive oil with 2 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
- Brush the tops of the veggies with the oil and vinegar mix.
- Sprinkle the tops with salt & pepper to taste.
- Bake until softened about 1½ - 2 hours.
- Allow to cool enough to handle and roughly chop the vegetables.
- In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente.
- In a large bowl, combine the ½ cup of olive oil with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain well and add it to the bowl.
- Add the grated parmesan and basil and toss to combine.
- Add the chopped vegetables and toss gently.
- Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked pepper.
- Top with pine nuts, parmesan shards and more basil.
- Serve with more olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
If you ate today, thank a farmer!