Adapted from 350 Best Vegan Recipes by Deb Roussou (Robert Rose, 2012)
Serves 4 to 6
Sweet almonds, charred red peppers and aromatic Hungarian paprika blend into a sumptuous sauce ladled over fresh pasta and topped with crispy sautéed eggplant. Serve this with a simple mix of greens, a drizzle of olive oil and a rustic loaf of bread.
- 1 large eggplant, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1¼ teaspoons salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 1½ pounds vegan store-bought fresh fettucini, cooked
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup grated vegan Parmesan cheese, crumbled regular feta cheese, or a mixture of ground nuts and dried onion flakes (optional)
- Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups roasted red bell peppers (about 3)
- 1 cup almond butter
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ¼ to ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon smoked Hungarian paprika
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- Place eggplant in a colander, toss with 1 teaspoon salt and set aside to drain for about 20 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a food processor, combine tomatoes, red peppers, almond butter and garlic. Process until smooth. Add wine, ¼ cup water, paprika, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Process, adding additional water, if needed, to make a smooth pouring sauce.
- Transfer sauce to a saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 10–15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- To prepare the eggplant, place a large skillet over medium-high heat and let it get hot. Add oil and tip the pan to coat. Add eggplant, oregano, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened with caramelized edges, 6–8 minutes. Remove from heat.
- To serve, divide fettuccini among 4 serving bowls. Top with generous ladleful of sauce and one-quarter of the caramelized eggplant. Top with parsley and, if using, Sprinkle or Parmesan cheese.