Neapolitan Summer Vegetable Pasta

Tomato-basil sauce finds the perfect thing to cling to: bucatini pasta, which is like thick and chewy spaghetti but with a hollow center. The eggplant and zucchini get a special salt treatment before cooking-- drawing out their moisture so they get crisp and golden in the hot olive oil. The final touch on this Naples-inspired dish: a creamy dollop of ricotta.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 20 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

One 24-ounce jar tomato-basil sauce, warmed

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 pound bucatini pasta

1 1/2 cups fresh ricotta

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Whisk together 1 cup of the tomato sauce with 2 tablespoons oil in a small bowl; set aside. Season the eggplant and zucchini generously with salt and let sit in a colander for 15 minutes. Rinse with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil with the red pepper flakes and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the vegetables and cook, tossing occasionally, until tender, golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot along with the pasta water and remaining tomato sauce. Toss to coat and divide among 6 bowls. Top with the vegetables, reserved tomato sauce mixture, ricotta and basil. 

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