This was one of my favorite things we ate in Sicily. It’s a hearty pasta dish made from fried eggplant and juicy tomatoes, stewed together basil and garlic, and topped with salty ricotta salata. It’s a simple but satisfying meal that vegetarians and carnivores alike will love.
Eat it for dinner tonight with your favorite bottle of Nero dAvola or Nerello Macalese wine.
- 2 large eggplants, cut into 1.5 inch chunks
- 1 tablespoon sea salt, plus extra to taste
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup tomato paste or passata
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 16 ounces pasta (penne, spaghetti, etc.)
- 6 ounces ricotta salata, grated
- 12 basil leaves, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
- In a large bowl, sprinkle black pepper and 1 tablespoon of salt over eggplant. Mix together and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Place salted eggplant on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Toss until each piece of eggplant is evenly coated. Place in oven for 20 minutes or until caramelized and tender.
- In a large saucepan, heat remaining tablespoon olive oil and sauté onion over medium heat until onions are tender, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add canned tomatoes, passata/tomato paste, garlic, and oregano. Cook for 5-6 minutes, then fold in eggplant from the oven. Set aside.
- Boil the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and toss with sauce. Sprinkle with lots of ricotta salata and basil and serve.