Sage Pesto Pasta with Caramelized Onion, Eggplant, and Beans

The humidity is dissipating and the days are getting shorter.  Fall has just arrived, but we’ve still got buckets of eggplant.  Start transitioning to fall cooking by using robust herbs, such as sage and rosemary, on that late summer produce.

Ingredients:

12 ounces penne pasta (I love Jovial Einkorn or Tinkyada Organic Brown Rice for this)

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow onion, medium dice

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 cups cooked pinto or cranberry beans (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)

1 cup roasted eggplant rounds (roast yourself, 400º 12 mins each side, or get from deli section).

2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

salt and black pepper

Sage pesto (below)

Procedure:

Heat a large pan (ideally cast iron) over medium/low heat and begin to caramelize onions, 15-20 minutes.  Cook pasta in salted water, according to package instructions.  Drain and set aside.

Once the onions are golden and soft, turn heat up to medium and add garlic, pinto beans, and eggplant rounds.  Let heat through, stirring not too frequently so that things crisp up a bit.  Toss in pasta, oregano, and red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

To serve, top with sage pesto and arugula.

Good side dishes: braised cabbage or arugula tomato salad with balsamic glaze.

Sage pesto:

Ingredients:

1/3 cup firmly packed sage leaves

1 bunch parsley (I use 4″ of the middle stems, where it’s half leaves, half stem)

2 tablespoons lemon juice, from about 1/2 lemon

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon parmesan

Heaping 1/2 cup pecans (walnuts are best alternative)

1 medium clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

About 7 turns of freshly ground black pepper

Procedure:

Process all ingredients in a food processor or blender until you get a paste.  Adjust for salt to taste.

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