Braden Family Cookbook

Chuck Braden

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PENNE WITH EGGPLANT AND TOMATO SAUCE                       Rao’s

 Serves 2 as an entrée

 ½ cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1# eggplant, peeled and cut into ½ “ chunks
4 –5 big mushrooms, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup dry white wine
1 ½ cup San Marzano plum tomatoes, diced with their juice (about ½ of a 28 oz. can)     
3 basil leaves, coarsely chopped
pinch of oregano, chopped fresh
Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated to top pasta
8 oz. dried penne

Put oil into a large sauté pan.  Add garlic cloves and cook over medium/low heat until golden brown. Remove garlic.  Add mushrooms, eggplant, and onions.  Sprinkle with salt and sauté for about 12 minutes until vegetables are soft and just beginning to brown. 

Add wine and stir.  Add tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Add oregano and basil and take off of the heat.  Add some of the pasta cooking water if the sauce is too thick. 

Cook the penne in boiling salted water during the last 12 minutes of the sauce cooking time.  Cook until it is just al dente.  Drain pasta, save water, add ½  cup sauce to pasta pan, put pasta back in pan and cook over medium high heat, stirring with a wood spoon, for about a minute.  Serve pasta in serving bowl or individual bowls, top with sauce and freshly grated cheese.