3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
1 large oval purple eggplant
1 red onion, thinly sliced
250 grams button mushrooms, halved or quartered if large
3 cups roughly chopped fresh tomatoes
4 cups dried penne pasta
small handful flat-leaf parsley or mint, chopped
½ cup ricotta (I used Clevedon Valley Buffalo)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
Combine the oil, garlic, cumin, oregano and chilli flakes in a large bowl. Cut the eggplant into 2 cm pieces and add to the bowl along with the onion and mushrooms and mix to combine well. Tip onto a large lipped baking tray, scraping in any oil left in the bowl. Season generously and roast for 15 minutes, turning everything once. Stir in the tomatoes then roast for a further 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally until everything is tender and golden.
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until done to your liking then drain well. Tip into a warm serving bowl and toss with a little olive oil. Tip the eggplant mixture over the pasta along with half the chopped herbs and ricotta. Gently combine then scatter with the remaining ricotta and herbs and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.