Whole Wheat Tagliatelle with Eggplant Pesto

INGREDIENTS FOR ABOUT 4 SERVINGS:

– 250 g of Allemandi whole wheat egg tagliatelle
– 1 small eggplant
– 6 sun dried tomatoes in oil
– 30 g of pine nuts + 2 tsp for decoration
– A nice handfull of basil leaves
– 1 tbsp of salted capers
– 1 small clove of garlic (optional)
– Extra virgin olive oil to taste
– Salt for pasta water

One and a half hour in advance, turn on the oven on 225°C, wash the eggplant and wrap it whole in tin foil. When the oven has reached temperature, put the wrapped whole eggplant in it and cook it for about 1 hour (until it becomes soft).

When the eggplant is ready, take it out, unwrap it, cut it in half, remove the pulp with a spoon and put it in a bowl, big enough to contain also the pasta. Smash it until pureed and keep it aside.

Meanwhile, put a large pot on the heat with a lot of water, bring it to a boil.

Wash and carefully dry the basil leaves and capers, peel the garlic clove and remove the core, drain the tomatoes and finely chop (better by hand, but mixer if fine too) everything with pine nuts, until it almost becomes a paste. Add it to the eggplant puree and dilute to taste with extra virgin olive oil (about 6 tablespoons should be enough).

When water starts boiling, salt it (a little less than usual) and toss in the whole wheat tagliatelle, cook as per instructions on the packaging.

When pasta is al dente, put aside a little of the cooking water, drain the tagliatelle and put them in the bowl with the pesto, diluting, if necessary, with some of water, stir and serve with some whole pine nuts.