Fusilli with Peppers and Eggplant

Fusilli con Peperoni e Melanzane

The Eggplants
2 3/4 pounds eggplant
2 cloves garlic
2 cups olive oil for frying
2 1/4 pounds canned tomatoes
The Sauce
4 1/2 pounds yellow bell peppers
a clove of garlic
hot pepper
1 1/3 pounds short fusilli or eliche (twists)
2 tablespoons of the oil the eggplant fried in

Wash the peppers, seed them, rib them, and dice them, then put them in a pot with a cup or slightly more water, and boil them for an hour and fifteen minutes.

Dice the eggplant without peeling them, and put the pieces in a colander, sprinkling them liberally with kosher salt. Let them sit for a half hour, then rinse them and pat them dry. Heat the oil in until hot (check temperature with a bread) and fry the eggplant in several batches, removing the pieces from the oil when they become golden and draining them well.

Take 2-3 tablespoons of the oil you fried the eggplant in and heat it in a broad pot. Sauté the cloves of garlic until they're golden, then remove and discard them. Drain the canned tomatoes and cook them, over a brisk flame, stirring constantly, until they have cooked down and become shiny. At this point add the eggplant and several leaves of shredded basil, turn the heat to low, and cook the mixture for five minutes.

When the peppers are well cooked and quite soft, drain them, reserving the water, and blend them to the point that you can no longer feel their skins on your tongue. Heat two more tablespoons of the oil you fried the eggplant in another pot, sauté the clove of garlic until it is golden, remove it, and add the pure peppers; season the mixture to taste with oregano and hot pepper (go easy on the latter) and simmer the sauce for about 15 minutes. Should the sauce thicken overmuch, dilute it with some of the reserved pepper juices. When the fifteen minutes are up stir in half the eggplant.

While you are cooking the peppers, bring pasta water to a boil and cook the pasta; drain it when itís still al dente, transfer it to a heated serving bowl, season it with the sauce, pour the remaining eggplant over it, and serve.

Serves 6-8

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