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Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Orzo Pasta Recipe

Indulge in a delightful Mediterranean-inspired dish with this roasted eggplant and tomato orzo pasta recipe. This is a perfect blend of roasted vegetables and whole grain pasta tossed in a tangy lemon-garlic dressing. A hint of feta cheese, fresh herbs, and pine nuts add a gourmet touch to this satisfying, nutrient-rich meal.

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Orzo Pasta Recipe
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Photos of Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Orzo Pasta Recipe

While most of these ingredients are probably already in your kitchen, you might need to make a special trip for a few items. Purple eggplants are often larger and have a richer flavor than regular eggplants. Orzo, although it looks like rice, is actually a type of pasta, and whole wheat orzo, in particular, might need to be sourced from a specialty store or the organic section of your supermarket. Fresh herbs such as basil and parsley greatly enhance the flavor, so avoid substitutes if possible.

Ingredients for Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Orzo Pasta Recipe

Purple eggplant: A versatile vegetable that becomes incredibly tender and delicious when roasted.

Tomatoes: They add a burst of fresh, juicy flavor.

Whole wheat orzo: A small, rice-shaped pasta that's a great source of fiber.

Feta: This tangy, salty cheese adds a fantastic flavor element to the dish.

Basil: Fresh basil leaves add a sweet and slightly peppery flavor.

Parsley: It imparts a fresh, slightly bitter touch to balance out the flavors.

Pine nuts: These nuts add a subtle crunch and rich, buttery flavor.

Olive oil: It's used for roasting and also in the dressing, adding a rich, fruity flavor.

Lemon juice: Adds a tangy freshness to the dressing.

Garlic: Brings a pungent, spicy note to the dressing.

Salt: Enhances the other flavors in the dish.

Red pepper flakes: Adds a bit of heat to the dish.

Black pepper: Gives a slight heat and a depth of flavor.

One reader, Ahmad Lovett says:

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This roasted eggplant and tomato orzo pasta recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are so rich and satisfying. The combination of tender eggplant, juicy tomatoes, and the zesty lemon-garlic dressing is simply divine. It's a delightful dish that's perfect for a cozy dinner or a special gathering. Highly recommended!

Ahmad Lovett

Mastering the Techniques for Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Orzo Pasta

How to roast eggplant and tomatoes: Roasting the eggplant and tomatoes is a crucial step in this recipe. Cut the eggplant into cubes and the tomatoes in half, then toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast the eggplant and tomatoes in the oven at 400°F until tender and golden.

How to cook orzo pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the orzo and cook for about 9 minutes until al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the orzo and transfer it to a large serving bowl.

How to make lemon-garlic dressing: Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and freshly ground black pepper to make the flavorful dressing for the orzo pasta. Drizzle the dressing over the warm orzo and toss to coat.

How to assemble the dish: After preparing the orzo and dressing, combine the roasted eggplant and tomatoes with the orzo, along with crumbled feta, fresh basil, parsley, and pine nuts. Toss to combine, and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.

How To Make Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Orzo Pasta

Tossed with roasted veggies, feta, and pine nuts, this orzo pasta is a hearty light meal drizzled with a lemon-garlic dressing for some tang and spice.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

For Roasted Eggplant:

  • 1lbpurple eggplant,(1 medium), sliced into ¾-inch cubes
  • 2tbspolive oil
  • salt and pepper

For Roasted Tomatoes:

  • 1cuptomatoes,cherry or grape, halved
  • 1tspolive oil
  • salt and pepper

For Other Ingredients:

  • ½lbDeLallo Organic Whole Wheat Orzo
  • cupcrumbled feta
  • ¼cupfresh basil,chopped
  • ¼cupfresh parsley,chopped
  • 2tbsppine nuts,toasted

For Lemon-garlic Dressing:

  • 2tbspolive oil,more to taste
  • 1tbsplemon juice
  • 2clovesgarlic,pressed or minced
  • ¼tspsalt,more to taste
  • tspred pepper flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper,to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with one rack in the middle of the oven and the other rack in the upper third of the oven.

  2. Line 1 large, rimmed baking sheet and 1 small, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.

  3. On the large baking sheet, toss the cubed eggplant with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Arrange the eggplant in a single layer.

  4. Roast for about 25 minutes on the middle rack until the eggplant is tender and deeply golden on the edges tossing halfway.

  5. Meanwhile, on the smaller baking sheet, toss the halved tomatoes with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Wait to place the pan of tomatoes on the top rack after tossing the eggplant.

  6. Roast for about 12 minutes until the tomatoes are tender and a little wrinkled. (The eggplant and tomatoes should be done roasting at the same time.)

  7. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the orzo, give it a stir and cook for about 9 minutes until al dente. Reserve about 1 cup cooking water, then drain the orzo and transfer it to a large serving bowl.

  8. To prepare the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and freshly ground black pepper.

  9. Drizzle it over the warm orzo and toss to coat. Add the roasted eggplant, tomatoes, feta, basil, parsley, and pine nuts. Toss to combine.

  10. If the pasta seems dry, add 2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta cooking water and/or a little more olive oil. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 433.53kcal
  • Fat: 21.37g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.33g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 12.21g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.52g
  • Carbohydrates: 54.21g
  • Fiber: 4.77g
  • Sugar: 5.82g
  • Protein: 12.59g
  • Cholesterol: 11.13mg
  • Sodium: 584.91mg
  • Calcium: 120.08mg
  • Potassium: 568.50mg
  • Iron: 3.35mg
  • Vitamin A: 53.12µg
  • Vitamin C: 14.84mg

Elevate Your Pasta Skills with This Simple Technique Tip

When roasting vegetables like eggplant and tomatoes, it's important to cut them into uniform pieces. This ensures that they cook evenly and at the same rate. Also, tossing them in olive oil and seasoning before roasting helps to bring out their natural flavors. Remember not to overcrowd the baking sheet, as this can cause the vegetables to steam instead of roast, preventing that desirable golden-brown finish.

Time-Saving Hacks for Preparing This Delicious Pasta Recipe

Prep ahead: Chop and prepare the eggplant, tomatoes, and herbs the night before to save time on the day of cooking.

Multitask: While the eggplant and tomatoes are roasting, cook the orzo and prepare the dressing to maximize efficiency.

Streamline cleanup: Line baking sheets with parchment paper for easy cleanup, saving time on washing up afterwards.

Organize ingredients: Group together the ingredients needed for each step to minimize time spent searching for items in the kitchen.

Efficient cooking: Use two racks in the oven to roast the eggplant and tomatoes simultaneously, reducing overall cooking time.

Quick dressing: Prepare the lemon-garlic dressing while the orzo is cooking to streamline the process and save time.

Substitute Ingredients For Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Orzo Pasta Recipe

  • purple eggplant - Substitute with zucchini: Zucchini has a similar texture and mild flavor, making it a suitable replacement for eggplant in this recipe.

  • tomatoes - Substitute with sundried tomatoes: Sun-dried tomatoes provide a concentrated flavor and chewy texture, adding a rich and intense taste to the dish.

  • delallo organic whole wheat orzo - Substitute with regular orzo: Regular orzo can be used as a substitute, providing a similar shape and texture to the dish.

  • feta - Substitute with goat cheese: Goat cheese offers a tangy and creamy flavor, complementing the dish as a substitute for feta.

  • fresh basil - Substitute with fresh mint: Fresh mint can add a refreshing and aromatic element to the dish, replacing the herbal notes of basil.

  • fresh parsley - Substitute with cilantro: Cilantro can provide a fresh and slightly citrusy flavor, adding a unique twist to the dish as a substitute for parsley.

  • pine nuts - Substitute with slivered almonds: Slivered almonds offer a similar nutty crunch, enhancing the texture and flavor of the dish.

  • olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil provides a mild, buttery flavor and a high smoke point, making it a suitable substitute for olive oil in this recipe.

  • lemon juice - Substitute with white wine vinegar: White wine vinegar can add a tangy and slightly fruity flavor, replacing the acidity of lemon juice in the dressing.

Elevate Your Pasta Game with These Presentation Tips

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the orzo pasta in a circular motion using a ring mold to create a visually appealing base for the dish.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle a generous amount of freshly chopped basil and parsley over the top of the orzo pasta to add a pop of color and freshness.

  3. Create height and dimension: Place the roasted eggplant and tomatoes strategically on top of the orzo, allowing them to cascade and create a visually stunning, multi-dimensional presentation.

  4. Incorporate texture: Sprinkle a handful of lightly toasted pine nuts over the dish to add a delightful crunch and depth of flavor.

  5. Drizzle with lemon-garlic dressing: Using a steady hand, drizzle the zesty lemon-garlic dressing over the dish, ensuring an even distribution for a burst of flavor in every bite.

  6. Finish with a touch of feta: Crumble the feta over the top of the dish, adding a creamy and tangy element to complement the other flavors.

  7. Use a minimalistic approach: Embrace simplicity by allowing the vibrant colors and textures of the ingredients to shine through, creating an elegant and refined presentation.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Orzo Pasta

  • Oven: Preheat to 400 degrees F for roasting the eggplant and tomatoes.
  • Large, rimmed baking sheet: Used for roasting the eggplant.
  • Small, rimmed baking sheet: Used for roasting the tomatoes.
  • Parchment paper: Lined on the baking sheets for easy cleanup.
  • Large pot: Used for boiling the orzo.
  • Whisk: Used for preparing the lemon-garlic dressing.
  • Serving bowl: Used for combining the orzo with the roasted vegetables and other ingredients.

Preserving Perfection: Storing and Freezing Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Orzo Pasta

  • To store leftover roasted eggplant and tomato orzo pasta, allow it to cool completely to room temperature. Transfer the pasta to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
  • When ready to enjoy, reheat the pasta in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding a splash of water or olive oil to help revive the texture and prevent dryness.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the orzo pasta. Place the cooled pasta in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
  • Label the container with the date and contents, and freeze for up to 2-3 months.
  • To thaw, transfer the frozen pasta to the refrigerator and allow it to defrost overnight.
  • Reheat the thawed pasta in the microwave or on the stovetop, stirring occasionally and adding a little water or olive oil to help restore moisture and prevent the pasta from sticking together.
  • Note: The texture of the eggplant and tomatoes may change slightly after freezing and thawing, becoming softer and less distinct. However, the overall flavor of the dish should remain delicious.

How To Reheat Leftover Pasta Dishes

  • To reheat leftover roasted eggplant and tomato orzo pasta, start by placing the desired amount of pasta in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel to help retain moisture and prevent the pasta from drying out during the reheating process.
  • Microwave the covered bowl of pasta on high power for 1-2 minutes, depending on the quantity of pasta being reheated. After the initial heating time, remove the bowl from the microwave and give the pasta a gentle stir to ensure even heat distribution.
  • If the pasta hasn't reached your desired temperature after the first round of microwaving, continue reheating in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until the pasta is heated through. Be careful not to overheat the pasta, as this can cause it to become mushy and lose its texture.
  • Alternatively, you can reheat the roasted eggplant and tomato orzo pasta on the stovetop. Place the desired amount of pasta in a non-stick skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. Add a splash of water, olive oil, or lemon juice to the pan to help moisten the pasta and prevent it from sticking.
  • Stir the pasta frequently as it reheats, ensuring that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan or become too dry. If needed, add small amounts of liquid (water, olive oil, or lemon juice) to maintain the pasta's moisture content.
  • Continue heating the pasta on the stovetop until it reaches your desired temperature, which should take about 5-7 minutes. Once heated through, remove the pan from the heat and serve the pasta immediately.
  • If you find that the reheated roasted eggplant and tomato orzo pasta has dried out slightly, you can drizzle a small amount of olive oil or lemon juice over the pasta to help revive its flavor and texture. Give the pasta a final toss to ensure the added moisture is evenly distributed before serving.

Surprising Facts About Eggplant and Tomato Pasta

The roasted eggplant and tomato orzo pasta recipe is a delicious and healthy dish that combines the rich flavors of roasted vegetables with the satisfying texture of whole wheat orzo. This dish is a great source of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, making it a nutritious choice for a meal. The combination of eggplant, tomatoes, and whole wheat orzo provides a delightful blend of flavors and textures, creating a satisfying and wholesome dish. Additionally, the lemon-garlic dressing adds a zesty and refreshing touch to the dish, enhancing its overall taste. This recipe is a perfect option for a flavorful and nutritious meal.

Budget-Friendly Cooking: Is This Pasta Recipe Economical?

The roasted eggplant and tomato orzo pasta recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The use of seasonal vegetables like eggplant and tomatoes makes it budget-friendly. The addition of whole wheat orzo and feta provides a good balance of cost and nutrition. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $15-$20, making it an economical choice. The dish offers a delightful medley of flavors and textures, earning a solid 9/10 rating for its affordability and taste.

Is This Pasta Dish Healthy or Unhealthy?

This roasted eggplant and tomato orzo pasta recipe is a healthy and nutritious dish. Here's why:

  • Eggplant and tomatoes are both low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Eggplant is particularly rich in antioxidants, while tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, which has been linked to various health benefits.
  • Whole wheat orzo provides complex carbohydrates, fiber, and protein, making it a more nutritious choice compared to regular pasta.
  • The recipe uses healthy fats from olive oil, pine nuts, and feta cheese, which can help improve heart health and reduce inflammation.
  • Fresh herbs like basil and parsley add flavor and provide additional vitamins and minerals.
  • The lemon-garlic dressing is a light and refreshing addition that enhances the overall taste without adding excessive calories or unhealthy fats.

To make this recipe even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Increase the proportion of vegetables to pasta to boost the nutrient content and lower the overall calorie density of the dish.
  • Use a reduced-fat feta cheese to minimize saturated fat intake without compromising on flavor.
  • Add more variety of vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, or spinach, to increase the fiber and nutrient profile of the recipe.
  • Experiment with different whole grain pasta options, such as quinoa or chickpea pasta, for added protein and fiber.
  • Reduce the amount of olive oil used in the dressing or roasting process to lower the calorie content, if desired.

Editor's Take on This Mouthwatering Pasta Creation

The recipe for roasted eggplant and tomato orzo pasta is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The roasted eggplant and tomatoes add a rich, smoky depth to the dish, while the orzo provides a comforting base. The lemon-garlic dressing ties everything together with a bright, zesty kick. The addition of feta, basil, and pine nuts brings a wonderful balance of creaminess, freshness, and crunch. This dish is a perfect showcase of Mediterranean-inspired ingredients and is sure to impress with its vibrant colors and bold flavors.

Enhance Your Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Orzo Pasta Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Parmesan Green Beans: Tender green beans tossed in a garlic parmesan butter sauce, topped with crispy breadcrumbs for a delightful crunch.
Honey Glazed Carrots with Thyme: Sweet and savory honey glazed carrots, infused with aromatic thyme for a burst of flavor in every bite.
Mushroom Risotto Cakes: Creamy mushroom risotto formed into crispy cakes, perfect for dipping into a tangy balsamic reduction sauce.
Berry Spinach Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette: Fresh spinach and juicy berries tossed in a zesty citrus vinaigrette, topped with crunchy candied pecans for a refreshing and satisfying salad.
Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus: Tender asparagus spears roasted with a zesty lemon garlic marinade, creating a bright and flavorful side dish.

Discover Delicious Alternatives to Traditional Pasta Recipes

Savory Stuffed Bell Peppers: These savory stuffed bell peppers are filled with a flavorful mixture of ground turkey, quinoa, and a variety of vegetables, making for a satisfying and healthy meal.
Mango Avocado Salsa: This refreshing mango avocado salsa is the perfect accompaniment to grilled fish or chicken. The combination of sweet mango, creamy avocado, and tangy lime juice creates a burst of flavor in every bite.
Creamy Butternut Squash Soup: Indulge in a bowl of creamy butternut squash soup, made with roasted butternut squash, onions, and a touch of nutmeg. This comforting soup is perfect for a cozy night in during the colder months.

Impress Your Guests with These Appetizer and Dessert Combinations

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and indulgent appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and crispy for a delicious start to any meal.
Bruschetta: Elevate the classic bruschetta by topping crispy toasted bread with a variety of fresh and vibrant toppings, such as diced tomatoes, basil, and balsamic glaze. Serve as a light and refreshing appetizer option.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Berry Parfait: Layered with fresh berries, creamy yogurt, and crunchy granola, this berry parfait is a light and refreshing dessert option. The combination of sweet and tart flavors makes for a delightful treat.

Why trust this Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Orzo Pasta Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures, featuring roasted eggplant and tomatoes that bring a rich, smoky sweetness. The addition of feta adds a creamy and tangy element, while the fresh basil and parsley contribute a burst of freshness. The pine nuts provide a satisfying crunch, and the lemon juice-garlic dressing ties everything together with a zesty and aromatic touch. With the use of wholesome whole wheat orzo, this dish promises a wholesome and satisfying meal that's both flavorful and nourishing.

Share your thoughts and experiences with this Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Orzo Pasta Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section. Join the conversation and let us know if you have any tips or variations to make this dish even more delicious!
FAQ:
Can I use regular white orzo instead of whole wheat orzo?
Yes, you can absolutely use regular white orzo instead of whole wheat orzo. The cooking time may vary slightly, so be sure to follow the package instructions for the best results.
Can I substitute the feta with another type of cheese?
Certainly! If you're not a fan of feta, you can substitute it with other cheeses like goat cheese, Parmesan, or even mozzarella. Choose a cheese that complements the flavors of the dish and crumble or grate it as needed.
Can I prepare the roasted eggplant and tomatoes in advance?
Yes, you can roast the eggplant and tomatoes in advance. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When you're ready to use them, gently reheat them in the oven or microwave before adding them to the orzo pasta.
Can I omit the pine nuts due to allergies?
Absolutely, if you or anyone dining has a nut allergy, feel free to omit the pine nuts. You can replace them with toasted sunflower seeds or simply leave them out altogether. The dish will still be delicious without them.
How can I make this dish vegan?
To make this dish vegan, simply omit the feta cheese or replace it with a vegan cheese alternative. Additionally, ensure that the orzo pasta you use is vegan-friendly, and check the ingredients in the dressing to ensure they align with your dietary preferences.

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