Pasta Salad Alla Norma

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min (includes resting and cooling times)
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

1 medium to large eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

Kosher salt 

12 ounces penne rigate 

1/3 cup olive oil 

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved if large 

2 tablespoons capers 

1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated 

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 

8 ounces small mozzarella balls (pearls) 

1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves 

Directions

  1. Put the eggplant in a colander and toss with 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand, tossing occasionally, for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Rinse and drain well, then pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the penne according to the package directions.
  3. While the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender and golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes, capers and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes start to break down, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Add the drained pasta to the bowl with the eggplant mixture and stir in the vinegar; add salt to taste. Let stand until cooled to slightly warm or room temperature, then stir in the mozzarella and basil. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
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