2 small, firm eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 garlic cloves, cracked from the skins
1 pound penne rigate pasta
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 28-ounce can crushed San Marzano or other variety canned plum tomatoes
1 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn
2 cups ricotta salata cheese, crumbled
Place the eggplant on a cookie sheet. Pour about 1/2 cup EVOO into a dish. Brush the eggplant lightly with the EVOO. Season the eggplant with salt and pepper. Add the garlic to the cookie sheet and dab it with EVOO as well.
Here are some changes I made to this recipe: I did not use the called-for amount of oil to brush the eggplant, so I changed it from 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons to just 1/2 cup. I used the leftover oil for cooking the onions. I used regular crushed tomatoes. I don't know if that made a difference, but I couldn't find crushed plum tomatoes.
I used ricotta instead of ricotta salata. I didn't know what kind of cheese to used in place of it, but I did try to order some from the grocery store. It was going to be almost $12 a pound for a 5 pound wheel of it. I said "no thanks." I wasn't going to pay $60 for cheese. Anyway, if you can find it and try it, let me know how it tastes.
This dish is pretty good, but a little tomatoey. I think it drowns out the flavor of the eggplant. My husband wanted to try it with parmesan cheese. We'll do that for lunch today.