September 12, 2011

Penne with Eggplant and Tomato

Ugh, no more eggplant! Fingers crossed that last week was the final allotment of eggplant from the CSA.

This recipe from Chez Panisse Vegetables is pretty simple and delicious. The basil adds such a fresh aromatic quality to the dish. You will see that I added fresh tomatoes in addition to the tomato sauce. I did it because I have a bunch of tomatoes to use up, but I liked the additional texture it added to the dish, so I would recommend adding either fresh tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes if you give this recipe a try.

Penne with Eggplant and Tomato
Adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables
Serves 4-6

2 small, 1 medium eggplant (I used week 13's eggplants)
Extra virgin olive oil
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
3/4 lb penne
2 cloves garlic, minced
Sherry vinegar
2-3 cups diced fresh tomatoes (I didn't remove their skins because I am lazy; if you wanted to, go for it!)
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 handful basil leaves, chopped
1 handful parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 lb ricotta salata

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Cut the eggplants into 3/4 inch cubes and toss lightly with olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet. Roast in oven for about 25 minutes, until the eggplant is brown and tender.

3. Meanwhile, heat about two tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Saute the onions until caramelized, about 20-25 minutes. While the onions are cooking, bring a large pot of water to boil and generously salt. Cook the pasta until al dente and drain.

4. When the onions are caramelized, add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant. Deglaze the pan with a splash of sherry vinegar. Add the eggplant, tomatoes, tomato sauce and basil and heat to a simmer. Add the pasta to the pan and toss gently. Remove from the heat and garnish with the parsley and crumbled ricotta salata.

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