A classic Sicilian pasta dish that is as delicious as it is simple to make. Sicilian cooking is renowned for its ability to work magic with the humblest of fresh ingredients and this dish is no exception.
Makes 2-3 servings
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small eggplant, diced, soaked in salted water for at least 1 hour
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled, left whole
- Crushed red chili flakes
- 2 cups diced or pureed tomatoes
- Sea salt
- 2-3 stems fresh basil, leaves removed shredded
- 8 ounces penne or rigatoni
Step By Step Instructions:
Place 3-4 tablespoons oil in a deep skillet. Drain the eggplant, rinse it well and pat dry with a towel. Place the eggplant in the oil and turn heat to medium. As the eggplant heats and fries, stir often until the eggplant wilts and is shiny with oil. Remove from oil and set aside.
Add a touch more oil and the whole garlic clove. Sweat in the oil for 2-3 minutes. Remove garlic and discard. Add eggplant back to the skillet, crushed red pepper flakes to your taste and tomatoes. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until eggplant “melts,” about 20 minutes. Season lightly with salt and simmer 5-7 minutes more. This sauce can simmer for a long time and just get richer and more delicious so no worries about overcooking.
While the sauce simmers, bring a pot of salted water to the boil (enough to just cover the pasta). Drop the pasta in the water and cook al dente, 6-7 minutes. Drain well, but do not rinse.
To serve, toss the pasta with the sauce and garnish with fresh basil.