Pasta in Tomato Sauce with Eggplant

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When it’s been one of those days, instead of reaching for a take out menu, I reach for a bag of pasta. It usually takes less time, is healthier and makes for great leftovers!! This is inspired from Patricia Wells Trattoria cookbook – I used less pasta, upped the veg and lowered the dat – still tasted amazing!!

1/2 c olive oil, divided
1 small onion, minced
2 plump fresh garlic cloves, minced
Salt
one 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes in puree
1 lb firm medium eggplant, cubed (do not peel)
8 oz pasta
8 oz burrata or mozzarella, cubed
Hot pepper flakes

In a 12 inch skillet, heat 1/4 c olive oil over moderately high heat. When the oil is hot add the eggplant and cook until browned about 10 minutes, stir often. Season generously with salt. Remove the eggplant from the pan and onto a plate and set aside. Allow the pan to cool off.

In the same skillet used for the eggplant, combine the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt, stirring to coat with the oil. Cook over moderate heat just until the garlic turns golden but does not brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the can of crushed tomatoes and stir to blend, and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce begins to thicken, about 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

Cook pasta according to package.

Add the eggplant and pasta into the pan with the tomato sauce. Toss to blend. Cover and let rest off the heat for 1-2 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce. transfer the pasta to warmed shallow bowls and sprinkle each serving with cubed mozzarella. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.