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Penne d’Aubergine

January 9, 2011

Eggplant is particularly underused in cooking — maybe because it can look so intimidating and purple! This is a hearty winter pasta dish that is light on the sauce and full of eggplant.  Hope you like it!

You will need:

  • 1 medium eggplant, cubed
  • 9 T olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (I used one seasoned with basil and oregano)
  • 2 T minced onion
  • 1 c fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1 T black pepper
  • 1/2 t lemon juice
  • 1/2 lb whole wheat penne
  • Shaved Parmesan & fresh basil for garnish

Then you:

  1. Place the eggplant in a colander. Sprinkle liberally with salt. Allow to drain for a half hour. Rinse well and pat dry.
  2. Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, heat up 3 T olive oil. Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes with juice, onion and fresh basil.
  4. Stir and allow to simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and puree in a blender.
  5. Heat 6 T olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the eggplant, red pepper flake, garlic powder, and lemon juice. Saute the eggplant until cooked through and crispy, approx. 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to drain on paper towel.
  6. Meanwhile boil a pot of salted water. Cook penne according to instructions, draining 2 minutes shy of al dente.
  7. Toss pasta with warm tomato sauce and eggplant. Sprinkle with shaved Parmesan and fresh basil!

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