Pasta with Eggplant and Tomato Sauce


2 cups cubed eggplant
1/2 reaspoon slat
3 quarts water (salt optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon pepper (optional)
2 cups Tomato Sauce
1 cup Chicken Stock
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 pound pasta - penne or ziti
5 ounces smoled mozzarella chees (Scamorza), cubed


Serves 4 to 6

Place the eggplant in a colander, sprinkle it with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, mix well, cover with a weighted plate and let drain for about 15 minutes (the salt will drain the bitter water from the eggplant). Pat the eggplant cubes dry.

Pour the water into a large pot with or without the optional salt and bring it to a boil.

While the water is heating, pour the oil into a large nonstick saute pan set on high heat and cook until it starts to ripple and is almost smoking. Add red pepper flakes, remaining salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato sauce, chicken stock and basil, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package directions until al dente or just tender. Drain, return it to the pot and add the sauce. Toss until well coated and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the smoked mozzarella and toss well.