Sicilian Eggplant Pasta

Moosewood Restaurant, New Classics

 

6 c. peeled and cubed eggplant

tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

3 eggs, beaten

12 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into 1 cubes

c. olive oil

c. grated parmesan cheese

1 lb. chunky pasta, such as shells

6 fresh basil leaves, chopped bite size

2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 tsp. salt

4 large garlic cloves, minced

Grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheeses

1 c. chopped fresh parsley

 

 

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Meanwhile, toss together the eggplant and beaten eggs in a large shallow bowl.  Heat c. of the olive oil in a large skillet on high heat until the oil is hot, but not smoking.  Reduce to medium heat and fry the eggplant in two batches.  Add 2 more T. of oil to the skillet before cooking the second batch.  Fry each batch about 8 minutes, turning to brown lightly on all sides.  Remove the eggplant with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.  Sprinkle with salt and set aside.

           

 

Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente.  While the pasta cooks, heat the remaining 2 T. of oil in a large saucepan and add the cherry tomatoes, garlic, parsley, and red pepper flakes.  Saute for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring gently, and set aside.  When the pasta is al dente, drain it, and transfer to a large warmed serving bowl.  Add the eggplant, tomato mixture, fresh mozzarella cubes, grated cheese, basil, and salt.  Serve immediately, passing additional grated cheese at the table.