Eggplant Mac and Cheese

Tangy goat cheese and sweet, sun-dried tomatoes are perfect counterparts for roasted eggplant, and this soul-satisfying version of macaroni and cheese does a great job of showcasing that unique flavor combination. Serve with a simple oil and vinegar-dressed salad for a complete and delicious meatless meal.

Eggplant Mac and Cheese

Eggplant Mac and Cheese

5 from 2 votes
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A flavorful, creamy blend of shell pasta, roasted eggplant, goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and chives.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant, about 1 lb
  • 8 ounces conchiglie, shell-shaped pasta
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-3/4 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 ounces fontina cheese, coarsely grated
  • 4 ounces chèvre, goat cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

Instructions

  • Peel the eggplant, cut it into 1-inch cubes and arrange them in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel. Sprinkle with salt and set aside for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Blot the eggplant with paper towels and arrange the cubes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil (1 to 2 tablespoons), season with freshly ground pepper and roast until tender and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.
  • While the eggplant roasts, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the conchiglie and cook until tender but not soft (al dente). Drain and set aside.
  • Heat the milk in the microwave or a separate saucepan until very warm, but not scalded. Set aside.
  • Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the flour and mix well. Continue cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and golden in color. Gradually add the warmed milk, whisking continually until well blended.
  • Continue cooking, whisking frequently, until the sauce is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 7 to 8 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the pan with a spatula once or twice during cooking to ensure there are no lumps in your sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Reduce the heat to low, add the fontina and stir until completely melted. Add the goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and chives. Stir until creamy and smooth, then add the macaroni and reserved eggplant. Combine well, remove from the heat and allow to stand 5 minutes. Stir again, then serve.
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