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Penne with Eggplant and Tomato Ragu
with white beans / capers / parmesan cheese

Active: 40 min Total: 40 min
This rustic vegetarian dish takes advantage of fresh eggplant and tomatoes which are often available in abundance at the end of the summer season.
Smarts: If you want to save time and / or want to make a thicker sauce, substitute canned, diced tomatoes instead of fresh in this recipe (use a 14 oz / 397 g can of diced tomatoes for 4 servings).


Penne with Eggplant and Tomato Ragu:
  • Onions, medium - 1 , chopped
  • Bell peppers, red or yellow - 1 , diced
  • Garlic - 4 cloves , chopped
  • Eggplant - 1 , peeled and cubed
  • Tomatoes - 1 lb , diced
  • Beans, cannellini (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can , drained and rinsed
  • Oil, olive - 2 Tbsp
  • Tomato paste - 3 Tbsp
  • Oregano, dried - 1 tsp
  • Basil, dried - 1 tsp
  • Red pepper flakes - 1/4 tsp
  • Wine, red - 1/4 cup (sub any type of stock)
  • Stock, any type - 1 cup
  • Pasta, penne - 10 oz (sub any pasta shape)
  • Capers - 1 Tbsp , drained and rinsed
  • Lemon juice - 1 tsp
  • Cheese, parmesan - 2 oz , grated


  1. Onions / Bell peppers / Garlic - Prep as directed. Combine onions and bell peppers. Store garlic separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Eggplant / Tomatoes - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  3. Beans - Drain and rinse.

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  1. Bring a large stock pot of salted water for the pasta to a boil.
  2. While waiting for the water to boil, heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil and then onions and bell peppers. Saute until vegetables are soft, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. To onions and bell peppers, add garlic, tomato paste, dried oregano, dried basil, and red pepper flakes with a pinch of salt. Saute for 1 minute more.
  4. Add eggplant, tomatoes, red wine, and stock. Cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer ragu until eggplant is tender, 8-10 minutes.
  5. Return to stockpot of water and add pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions, until tender. Drain.
  6. Return to ragu and and stir in beans, capers, and lemon juice. Simmer for 2 minutes more. Taste and season with some salt and / or a pinch of sugar (sugar can help bring out the natural sweetness in the tomatoes).
  7. Spoon ragu over pasta. Finish with cheese grated over top. Enjoy!



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