Pasta with Eggplant and Basil

1 eggplant
1 clove garlic
olive oil
10 ripe, peeled, seeded, and diced tomatoes
1 pound penne
3 ounces, grated aged salted ricotta
10 basil leaves

Cut the eggplant into slices and place on a cutting board propped on a slant, cover with salt and leave them under a weight for one hour until the bitter water seeps out.

Brown the garlic in oil, add the tomatoes and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced by one third. Add pinch of pepper, remove from heat and set aside.

Wash and pat-dry the eggplant slices, fry in hot oil, put on paper towels to dry, then chop coarsely, and set aside.

Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until just al dense, drain and quickly toss in a large skillet, over a brisk flame, half of the tomato sauce, the eggplant, a few basil leaves and half of the grated cheese.

Then put the pasta in the serving dish, cover with the remaining half of the sauce, the rest of the grated ricotta and sprinkle with a few more basil leaves over it and serve

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