Oh, pasta. Most definitely one of my favorite comfort foods. For one thing, it’s pasta. Carb-y and wonderful. For another, as a self-taught cook, pasta was certainly the main type of food that helped me learn my way around the kitchen. It holds a special place in my heart and my belly as I recall favorite recipes from my early cooking days. Pasta is sort of a blank canvas of a meal that can be dressed up in infinite variations depending on your mood and what ingredients you have on hand. In this way it reminds me a bit of a sandwich…stick any combination of ingredients between two slices of bread and voila, you have a meal. Though this sort of flexibility is a huge advantage on nights when I’m scrounging the fridge and pantry to create something that can pass for a meal, it also makes pasta dishes slightly less appealing to me than they used to be. Sort of a “been there, done that” mentality means that a pasta dish now needs to be really fantastic to truly “wow” me.
This dish wowed me. The whole thing was great, but it was the tomato-roasted red pepper sauce that really stood out to me. It gave the whole meal plenty of fresh flavor without being heavy or overwhelming the other components. We love eggplant and are always looking for more recipes that include it, so this is a nice addition to our recipe box. Next time I will probably add some sliced cremini mushrooms because really, why not? This is a pasta dish that is well worth repeating.