Eggplant can contribute succulent texture to pasta sauces. Here, the eggplant provides the perfect complement to tasty sausage and olives, simmered with canned cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs. Tossed with pasta, the result is a speedy, well–balanced meal that tastes terrific.
300 g rigatoni or other chunky pasta shapes, such lumache (snails)
250 g good–quality pork sausages
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 eggplant, diced
3 small zucchini, diced
2 cans cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes, about 400 g each
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
30 g black olives, pitted
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat–leaf parsley
salt and pepper
fresh oregano leaves
⅓ cup (35 g) freshly grated parmesan (optional)
Cook the pasta in boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, grill the sausages until browned, turning once.
Cool slightly, then cut them into chunky slices and set aside.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion over a moderate heat for 2–3 minutes or until it begins to soften and colour.
Add the garlic and sliced sausages, and continue to cook for a few minutes.
Increase the heat, add the eggplant and zucchini, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the eggplant begins to soften.
Pour in one can of tomatoes, with the juice.
Drain the juice from the second can into the pan (reserve the tomatoes), then stir in the oregano and seasoning to taste.
Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the eggplant is tender.
Add the olives and the reserved tomatoes and stir well.
Cover again and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Finally, mix in the pasta until it is thoroughly coated.
Stir in the chopped parsley.
Serve immediately, sprinkled with oregano leaves and parmesan, if liked.
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