First salting, and then grilling instead of frying, keeps the eggplant from absorbing too much oil and reduces the total fat. Grill the eggplant ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to assemble the dish.
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500 g round eggplant or brinjal, cut lengthways into 2 cm-thick slices
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
750 g ripe tomatoes, halved, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon dried, crumbled
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon sugar
Olive oil for brushing
250 g penne
30 g shaved or shredded parmesan cheese
Directions Prep:15min › Cook:25min › Extra time:30min › Ready in:1hr10min
Sprinkle eggplant slices with half the salt. Leave for a least 30 minutes to draw out liquid.
Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
Add tomato, oregano and remaining salt. Increase heat to medium. Cook just until tomato is softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in vinegar and sugar. Cook a further 30 seconds.
Preheat grill or barbecue. Rinse eggplant slices; pat dry. Lightly brush both sides of eggplant with olive oil.
Grill or barbecue eggplant 10 cm from heat until softened and, if barbecuing, dark grill marks score the surface, about 5 minutes each side. Set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water until al dente, following packet instructions. Drain. Toss with the tomato mixture. Coarsely chop eggplant. Add to pasta mixture. Stir in parmesan. Serve hot.