- 1 1/2 pounds (1 large or 3 small) globe eggplant, cut in 1/2-inch dice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut in half
- 1 small red onion, peeled and cut in half
- 1 3-inch piece of Parmesan rind
- 5 basil sprigs, plus 1/4 cup chopped basil for
- 1 (28-ounce) jar or can of tomato puree
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-pound cavatelli or orecchiette pasta or alternative
- 1 cup grated smoked mozzarella or provolone cheese
- In a medium bowl, toss the eggplant with 1teaspoon salt and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- . Pat the eggplant dry with a paper towel. In medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
- . When the oil is hot enough that a piece of eggplant begins to sizzle as soon as it hits the oil, it’s ready.
- . Fry the eggplant in 3 or 4 batches, until golden brown and cooked through, about 4minutes per batch.
- Using a slotted remove the eggplant to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Add the olive oil, carrot, and red onion and sweat just for 1 minute. Add the rind, basil, and tomato puree to the pan. Stir in the pasta with a wooden spoon to mix well. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.