While watching one of my favorite favorite Food Network shows, Giada at Home, I got fixated on an eggplant pasta dish she was making. I always admire Giada's pasta creations and this one involved a combination of eggplant and pesto. The idea of it was appealing to me because it used fresh vegetables and a homemade sauce instead of anything processed. I liked how she thinned out the pesto with some pasta water that made it more saucy.
Using eggplant in this dish was great since it's such a hearty and satisfying vegetable. Cooking it on medium - high heat for about 10 minutes really softened it up and the texture reminded me of a good caponata. You really have to love eggplant to enjoy this dish, and if you'd like to incorporate a non-veggie spin, you can certainly add ground turkey, beef or chicken. I put some Pecorino Romano cheese on top but I used a lot less of it than what the recipe called for. Giada encourages you to use it in the pasta before adding the eggplant, but I just put a modest amount on top. It's a good way to cut out unnecessary calories and fat.
Enjoy the recipe and feel free to come up with your own variations. The key is to use really good, fresh ingredients.