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Barchette di Pasta
1 recipe Spicy Tomato Sauce
3 Eggplant (12-16 ounces each) cut in half lengthwise
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 large Garlic cloves, thickly sliced
1/4 pound Salami, chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh Parsley
¾ cup black Olives, pitted and halved
¼ cup Capers, rinsed
1 teaspoon Anchovy Paste (optional)
½ teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
½ pound Smoked Mozzarella cheese (Scamorza) or fresh Mozzarella cheese, cut into ¼ inch dice
1/3 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
2 Tablespoons Italian Style Breadcrumbs (page xx)
1 pound of Dry Pasta (ditalini , ½ penne lisce, , penne rigate, or ziti)
Spicy Tomato Sauce
Prepare Spicy Tomato Sauce.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Lightly score the cut side of the eggplant and sprinkle with salt. Turn the pieces cut side down and let the bitter juices drain out for 15-20 minutes. Wipe the eggplant dry, brush with a little olive oil and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast the eggplant in the preheated oven for 15 minutes until the flesh is tender but not completely soft. They will be done when the purple skins wrinkle slightly and when gently pressed a fingerprint will hold it’s shape, but the flesh will still be firm.
When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, use a spoon to scoop out (and reserve) the tender eggplant flesh, leaving a ½ inch thick skin or shell to use as a sturdy "boat." Chop up the reserved eggplant for use in the filling.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium high heat. Sauté the garlic and parsley until the garlic is golden, 1 minute. Add the chopped salami and eggplant and cook 4-5 minutes until the eggplant browns slightly. Stir in the olives, capers, black pepper and the Spicy Tomato Sauce, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer to a nice, thick sauce consistency, 5-7 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water according to the directions on the package. Drain well, return to the empty pot and mix with half of the tomato sauce (2 ½ cups). Stir in the smoked mozzarella. Carefully spoon the pasta mixture evenly into the eggplant boats. Sprinkle with the Romano cheese and Italian style breadcrumbs.
Bake the eggplant boats on a lightly oiled baking sheet at 450 for 10 minutes until warmed through and golden brown on top. Serve a pasta boat to each person with the extra sauce and additional cheese passed along side.
©2015 Nick Stellino Productions