This recipe is adapted from Piatta Unico: When One Course Makes a Meal a fun little cookbook that’s been gathering dust in our cabinet for more than a year. We’re terrible people. OK, only our neighbors think that, but we do have a number of Italian cookbooks and The Silver Spoon has become our bible of Italian cooking (along with Greg’s family recipes). We’re glad we pulled this little cookbook out and have already flagged a number of recipes to try.
Baked Penne with Eggplant and Capers
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup Romano or Parmesan
- 1 large eggplant, cut into bite-sized cubes
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp capers
- 28-ounce can of whole plum tomatoes
- 2 tsp dried oregano or 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped fine
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 pound penne, cooked al dente
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, grated
Chop eggplant and place in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 20-30 minutes. We like to put a weight on top, but you don’t need to. Roast eggplant, tossed with a tablespoon or so of olive oil, at 425 until tender. To save time, the eggplant can be made the night before and refrigerated until ready to use. Cook pasta and set aside. In a small bowl, mix Parmesan or Romano with bread crumbs and set aside. In a large saute pan, saute garlic until tender, about a minute. Add tomatoes, crushing by hand before you throw them in the pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add salt, pepper, pepper flakes and oregano, if using dried. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring often. The sauce should thicken, but still have some juice to it. Stir in pasta, eggplant and capers and mix well. Add oregano if using fresh. Remove from heat and pour into a prepared lasagna pan. Sprinkle with mozzarella, then bread crumb mix. Bake at 425 until bubbly and golden. Serve warm.