Pasta with Almonds and Eggplant

Serves 4

1 ½ cups ground almonds
3 tbsp natural whole almonds 
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 eggplants, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp Olive oil
Fresh Basil
1 ¾ cups short pasta (penne or fusilli) gluten free pasta can be substituted.
Pecorino cheese (optional)

In a heavy saucepan heat olive oil, over medium heat, add garlic.  Sauté for about a minute until garlic is fragrant, add ground almonds and brown. Reduce heat, add eggplant and cook 15-20 min until eggplant is tender.  Add whole almonds and heat through, turn off heat and add basil. 

Meanwhile cook pasta according to the directions on the box, reserving a couple of cups of the pasta water.  Drain and add to saucepan with almond sauce, toss together.  If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water until desired consistency is reached.  Sprinkle with grated pecorino cheese, and a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil.