Ingredients

? pound eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
� teaspoon salt
3 quarts water
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 bell peppers, 1 each of red, yellow and green, cut into 1-inch squares
5 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
� cup pitted Greek or Sicilian black olives, halved
1 tablespoon drained capers
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons chopped basil
1 cup tomato sauce (see link)
1 cup canned chicken broth or homemade chicken stock (see link)
1 pound pasta, penne, rigatoni or tortiglioni
4 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (optional)

Directions

1. Sprinkle the eggplant cubes with the salt and place them in a colander to drain. Cover with a dish and place a heavy weight on top. Let the eggplant drain for 15 minutes to remove the bitter juices, pat dry with a towel and set aside.
2. Bring the water for the pasta to a boil in a large pot. Heat the oil in a large nonstick saute pan set on high heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Cook the eggplant cubes and bell pepper for 5 minutes, tossing twice. The eggplant should be nicely browned and the peppers slightly charred. Add the garlic, olives, capers, red pepper flakes and basil, mix well and cook for 3 minutes, stirring once. Pour in the tomato sauce and chicken stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
3. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta in the boiling water just until tender. Drain well and return it to the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta and cook for 3 minutes, stirring continuously, until most of the sauce has been absorbed and the pasta shines with a beautiful deep red gloss. Stir in the optional cheese, if you wish.

Nick Stellino uses red, yellow and green bell peppers to produce a colorful dish, but feel free to use just red if that’s all that is available.

Pasta With Eggplant and Bell Peppers
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