Trim eggplant, but don't peel it. Slice lengthwise into -*1/2-inch-thick slices. Then cut those slices lengthwise into -*1/2-inch strips. Cut across to make -*1/2-inch cubes. Sprinkle cubes with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a wide, deep skillet or Dutch oven over high heat. When the oil is hot, add eggplant cubes and cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until lightly browned.
- If using fresh tomatoes, dip the tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds or so. Remove their cores, then their skins. (The skins should slip off.) Cut the tomatoes in half around the equator and scoop out seeds with your fingers. Chop the tomatoes fine.
- When the eggplant has browned, add garlic and cook 15 to 30 seconds; it should become aromatic but not brown. Add tomatoes, and stir to blend. Reduce heat to medium and cook 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add penne and cook according to package directions, 8 minutes or so.
- Drain pasta and return it to the pot. Add the tomato sauce, and stir to coat the pasta. Add mozzarella and -*3/4 cup Parmesan, and stir to combine. Serve on a platter and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
This can be served as a side to meat, such as baked chicken seasoned with rosemary or broiled steak, or as a main dish, with garlic bread and a salad dressed with vinaigrette.
Approximate values per serving: 832 calories, 32 g fat, 41 mg cholesterol, 32 g protein, 104 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 826 mg sodium, 35 percent calories from fat.
recipe from: The Arizona Republic, 12/03/03