Eggplant and Tomato Ziti with Mozzarella and Mint Garnish

It doesn’t happen often, but this past weekend my sister and I had the opportunity to cook dinner together in my kitchen. She’s visiting home for the weekend, and acting as Matron of Honor extraordinaire for me. She suggested a recipe she’s previously posted on her Fusion. Here is what we whipped up together:

Serves 2 with leftovers

-1/2 box of rigatoni or ziti.
-olive oil.
-1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
-grape tomatoes, halved.
-1 clove garlic, sliced thinly.
-crushed red pepper.
-salt and black pepper.
-fresh mozzarella, cut into small chunks.
-fresh mint leaves, rinsed and roughly chopped for garnishing.

Place your pasta water on to boil and do your rinsing and chopping while you wait.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the chopped eggplant and cook until golden brown and tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir it often or the delicate eggplant will burn. The eggplant soaks up the oil quickly, but avoid the temptation to add more…too much oil will make the eggplant unpalatably soft.

Add the halved grape tomatoes and sliced garlic.  Season this with crushed red pepper, salt, and black pepper to taste. Careful with the crushed red pepper if you’re cooking for someone who can’t handle the heat.

Continue stirring your vegetables until the pasta is done cooking. Drain pasta. Make up plates of pasta and eggplant mix. Top with fresh mozzarella and chopped fresh mint.

This is a very quick meal that will impress your guests. The fresh mint provides a surprising flavor that complements the sweet tomatoes and the delicate mozzarella. Enjoy!

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