Penne with Eggplant and Tomato Ragu
with white beans / capers / parmesan cheese
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).
- 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
- Bring a large stock pot of salted water for the pasta to a boil.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add eggplant, tomatoes, red wine, and stock. Cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer ragu until eggplant is tender, 8-10 minutes.
- Return to stockpot of water and add pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions, until tender. Drain.
- 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).
- Spoon ragu over pasta. Finish with cheese grated over top. Enjoy!
I added mild Italian sausage. It was delicious!0 Helpful
Needed more spices..was somewhat watery and bland. Wouldnt make again.0 Helpful
Good old comfort food. Not going to blow anyone's socks off, but tasty0 Helpful
Glad we made it with linguine -- seems too liquidy for penne. The sauce tasted fresh, but needed far more flavor. Maybe double the spices? I liked the beans for heft, but was overall just a kind of bland.0 Helpful
I added squash and zucchini. I didn't think it was blah, but I tasted it before I served it, too. The sauce wasn't super thick, but it worked well with rigatoni (which I had instead of penne). Not bad.0 Helpful
fine. but not my favorite.0 Helpful