Serves: Makes 10 servings
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 2½ oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil 100% Italiano Academia Barilla
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 medium onions, small dice
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
- 1 28-oz can Peeled Cherry Tomatoes Academia Barilla
- Salt and pepper
- 2½ pounds Penne Rigate Barilla Pasta
- 5 leaves basil, chiffonade
- 7 oz fresh sheep’s milk Ricotta cheese
- 7 oz ricotta salata cheese (available in some specialty grocery stores or Italian cheese shops)
Place the diced eggplant in a large colander with a plate underneath it and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt. Place another plate on top of the eggplant and let stand for 45 to 60 minutes. If your eggplant is not bitter, you may omit the salting process. Remove the eggplant and dry thoroughly with a paper towel. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat add the eggplant and cook until golden brown, about 12 -15 minutes.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and garlic, and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer over medium heat and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced by a third. Season to taste; remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender to the bite, al dente. Follow package instructions for timing guidelines. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water. Add pasta and basil to sauce and toss to coat, using some of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce. Toss in the eggplant and fresh ricotta cheese. Transfer pasta to bowl; top with ricotta salata and serve.