BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Eggplant is one of the truly underrated culinary joys. Here, it is added to the pasta along with Italian sausage and tomatoes, to create a unique yet refreshing dish! One more reason to celebrate the summer time!
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
1 pound campanelle, gemelli, or cavatappi pasta
8 ounces hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
1 pound eggplant, peeled and (¾-inch) cubed
3 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1½ tsps kosher salt
1 quart water
¾ tsp grated nutmeg
½ tsp black pepper
salt to taste
1 cup lightly packed fresh basil, coarsely chopped
additional olive oil for drizzle
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese
In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, red onion, and kosher salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 5–7 minutes or until tomatoes begin to burst.
Add Italian sausage and cook, uncovered, 2–3 minutes or until sausage is no longer pink, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up meat and tomatoes.
Add eggplant cubes, then add water. Bring to a boil, add pasta, nutmeg, and pepper.
Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 10–12 minutes or until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally and maintaining a vigorous simmer.
Adjust seasonings to taste if necessary. Stir in fresh basil, drizzle with additional oil and sprinkle with cheese before serving.
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