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Fusilli with Eggplant, Tomato, and Basil

Fusilli with Eggplant, Tomato, and Basil

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Serves 4 to 6

Extra virgin olive oil
1 lb eggplant, sliced into bite-size pieces*
Water/broth (optional)
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 (28-oz) can peeled tomatoes, chopped or puréed
Fresh basil
1 lb fusilli pasta
1 1/2 cups parmigiano reggiano, grated

Optional additions: fresh mozzarella or feta (in lieu of Parmesan), capers, olives

*If buying large eggplant, buy up to 2 lbs in case you plan to cut away most of the bitter seeds in the base. (Why?)

Heat water to boil for the pasta.

In a large non-stick pan, heat several tablespoons of olive oil over a medium flame.
Add the sliced eggplant and toss to coat. Let cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until eggplant softens, stirring often to make sure it doesn’t burn (you may need to lower the heat after a few minutes). Add salt to taste. Eggplant absorbs a lot of liquid, so if you don’t want to add more olive oil, you can add water and/or vegetable or chicken stock to continue cooking. As long as the flame is not too high, you may also cover the pan to expedite cooking.

In a small pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for
2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir. Bring the tomato sauce to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, as well as a handful of chopped basil. Stir together and then lower the sauce to a simmer.

Once the eggplant is cooked through, and the tomato sauce has simmered for at least 5 minutes, combine the tomato sauce with the eggplant and continue to simmer.

When the pasta water is boiling, add 1 to 2 handfuls of coarse salt, stir to dissolve, and then add the pasta. When the pasta is al dente, discard pasta water and mix the pasta with the tomato-eggplant sauce. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the Parmesan and garnish with more freshly chopped basil. Finish with extra virgin olive oil. Stir to combine and serve immediately.

  1. Katie

    This is the best recipe. Soo easy and it is impossible to get it wrong. It has quickly become one of my staple recipes. YUM!

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