A pasta sauce of eggplant, tomatoes and fresh basil is an enduring classic. Add a can of cannellini beans and it gets even better. Cheese lovers might enjoy this dish with crumbled feta cheese.
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 12 oz. dried penne pasta
- 1/3 cup pine nuts (1 3/4 oz.), toasted
- 15- to 19-oz. can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups cooked cannellini beans
- 28-oz. can whole plum (Italian-style) tomatoes, drained
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 3/4 lb. eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes (4 cups)
Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, pass tomatoes through a food mill into medium bowl (or mash with a potato masher).
In large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over low heat. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until garlic is softened but not browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add mashed tomatoes, increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer while you brown eggplant.
In large nonstick skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in tomato mixture and reduce heat to low. Cover loosely with foil and simmer until eggplant is very tender, about 8 minutes. Add beans and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in basil, salt and pepper.
Shortly before sauce is ready, add penne to boiling water; stir to prevent sticking. Cook, stirring often, until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Place penne in large warm serving bowl. Add eggplant mixture and enough reserved cooking water to moisten and toss to coat. Serve immediately, sprinkled with pine nuts.
- Calories: 402
- Carbohydrate Content: 65 g
- Fat Content: 10 g
- Fiber Content: 8 g
- Protein Content: 16 g
- Saturated Fat Content: 1 g
- Sodium Content: 311 mg