|6 Tbsp||Pastene Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for serving|
|¾-1 lb||small Italian or Japanese eggplants|
|kosher salt to taste|
|1 Tbsp||Pastene Minced Garlic|
|1 tsp||dried oregano|
|¼ tsp||red pepper flakes|
|2 Tbsp||Pastene Tomato Paste|
|1||28 oz can Pastene San Marzano Style Tomatoes, crushed by hand|
|16 oz||Pastene Italian Rigatoni|
|2-3 Tbsp||fresh small basil leaves, or roughly torn large leaves|
|2 oz||aged ricotta salata or Pastene Grated Romano Cheese|
Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes
- Trim the eggplant, split in half lengthwise, and cut ½” thick into half moons or 1.5-2” wedges
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add as much eggplant as fits in a single layer and season with salt. Cook, shaking pan occasionally, until eggplant is tender and well browned on both sides about 10 minutes total. Transfer eggplant to a plate and set aside. Repeat with remaining eggplant, adding more olive oil, as necessary.
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and increase heat to medium-high. Add garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant but garlic is not browned, about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly until evenly incorporated and tomato paste sizzles.
- Add crushed tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a boil, reduce to a bare simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is thickened into a sauce-like consistency, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.
- Add sauce to pasta and toss to coat, adding reserved pasta water as necessary to thin sauce to desired consistency. Add eggplant slices and toss to combine.
- Serve pasta immediately, with a drizzle of olive oil, grated ricotta salata or romano and fresh basil.