Penne with Eggplant, Olives and Feta Cheese

(4 votes)

8 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound red bell peppers, diced
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 1 1/4-pound eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives or other
brine-cured black olives
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
12 ounces penne pasta
14 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Brush 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with 2 tablespoons oil.

Heat remaining 6 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, garlic and crushed pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Add eggplant and oregano. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; cook until eggplant softens, stirring often, about 15 minutes.

Mix in tomatoes with juices, 1/2 cup basil, olives, tomato paste and vinegar. Cover; simmer until all vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite; drain well. Stir pasta into vegetable mixture. Transfer to prepared dish. Cover dish with foil. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake pasta covered until heated through, about 20 minutes (40 minutes if refrigerated). Sprinkle with feta, then 1/2 cup basil.

8 to 10 servings

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