Pasta with Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Sauce

1 medium eggplant
1/2 pound penne, rigatoni or pasta shells
1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tablespoons capers, chopped
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Prick the eggplant in a few places with a knife. Place on a baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes, turning occasionally for even cooking, until the eggplant is tender but not falling apart. When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, peel it and dice the pulp. Place the pulp in a colander to drain away any bitter juices. Discard the skin.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the pasta and stir the eggplant and the rest of the ingredients and warm through. Season to taste. Adjust salt, pepper, and hot red pepper.

If the tomatoes are tart, add a pinch of sugar to compensate. When the pasta is al dente, drain and toss with the sauce. Serve at once.



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