PENNE WITH EGGPLANT AND MUSHROOM SAUCE
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 pound mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 1 large eggplant*, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup canned tomato paste
- 1 tbsp dried chives, chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 pound multi-grain penne
- 1 cup water
- Mozzarella cheese, shredded, for garnish (optional)
- *salt and drain eggplant before cooking in order to take any bitterness out of the eggplant.
In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion and cook until it is translucent, stirring constantly.
Add another tablespoon of the oil to the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan. Stir in the eggplant and cook.
Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the tomato paste, water, garlic, chives, cayenne, salt and pepper.
Bring to a simmer. Cover until the eggplant is very tender, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook the penne (about 10-15 minutes). Drain and then toss with the sauce.