Eggplant adds hearty texture to the rich sauce and makes it distinctly Sicilian. Look for ziti rigate, or ridged ziti; the chunky sauce will adhere better than it will to the smooth variety.
What you need:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium eggplant, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes (undrained), finely chopped
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 pound ziti, cooked and drained
What you do:
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat olive oil . Add eggplant and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste, cover, and cook until softened, stirring occasionally for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste, tomatoes and their juice, wine and red pepper flakes, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes to blend the flavors. Add the basil. Check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Keep warm while you cook the pasta.
- In a large shallow bowl, place ziti. Add the sauce and toss gently. Serve at once.