Rigatoni with Eggplant

2-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound eggplant, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound tomatoes, chopped
3/4 pound rigatoni or other tube pasta
1 cup parsley, chopped
1/8 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt optional, or to taste

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a heavy nonstick skillet over high heat. Add eggplant and sear 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until browned. Transfer eggplant to a bowl and set aside. Add half the remaining oil to same skillet. Sauté garlic and onion over medium heat 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add tomatoes and eggplant. Simmer until mixture is heated throughout. Cover skillet and keep warm.

Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and return pasta to same saucepan. Add tomato mixture and cook over low heat until heated throughout. Stir in parsley, remaining oil, chili pepper flakes, half the Parmesan, salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly and serve with remaining Parmesan.

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