Eggplant and black olive sauce on rigatoni

  • 2 small eggplants, (3/4 pound each)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste, if needed
  • 1/4 cup pitted, chopped black olives, preferably Mediterranean style
  • Salt, if needed
  • 12 ounces rigatoni
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  1. Peel eggplant and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.  Place in colander and salt liberally.  Set in the sink and allow to drain for 30 minutes.  Rinse and dry.  (This step isn’t required with very fresh, young eggplant.)
  2. Heat olive oil in large skillet.  Add eggplant, onion and garlic and sauté over moderately high heat until ingredients are lightly browned.  Add rosemary and pepper and stir for 30 seconds.
  3. Add tomatoes (and tomato paste if you feel the tomatoes aren’t ripe enough) and simmer partly covered for 15 minutes.
  4. Add black olives and simmer 5 minutes more.
  5. In the meantime, boil rigatoni in plenty of salted water until al dente.
  6. Drain and place in a warm serving bowl.  Top with half the eggplant sauce and toss.  Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with parsley and cheese.
  • Serves 4 (or 2 hungry people using it as a main course — good leftover, too).
Steve and Nancy’s collection — from the 1981 Baltimore Sun.
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