Fusilli With Spicy Eggplant
1 hour, 10 minutes. 6 servings
1 pound eggplant
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup diced onion
4 cloves garlic, sliced
¼ teaspoon to 1½ teaspoons dried red pepper flakes
1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons capers
½ cup white wine
Slivered basil leaves
1 pound fusilli
1. Cut the eggplant into one-half- to three-fourths-inch cubes and place them in a colander. Salt liberally and put a heavy bowl on top to press down. Place in the sink or in another bowl and set aside for at least 1 hour.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the onion and cook until it is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and dried red pepper flakes, and cook an additional minute or two.
3. Rinse the eggplant and pat dry in a kitchen towel. Add to the olive oil and cook until it is tender, about 10 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and the capers, and cook until any moisture cooks away, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer until it reaches a thick sauce consistency, about 5 minutes.
4. Cook the fusilli in a large pot of rapidly boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and add to the skillet with the eggplant mixture along with one-half cup of the pasta cooking water. Continue cooking briefly and add the slivered basil.
5. Divide among 6 warmed pasta bowls and top with crumbled ricotta salata.