1 medium firm eggplant, peeled and diced ½ inch
¼ cup EVOO or olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 rib celery with tops, chopped
1 firm zucchini, halved and seeded, if needed, and diced
1 Cubanelle pepper, chopped
1 green chili pepper, finely chopped (Italian hot finger pepper or jalapeno)
4 cloves garlic, chopped or sliced
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1 cup pitted green Cerignola olives
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
½ cup crisp Italian white wine
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
A handful of basil, torn
1 pound short-cut pasta (Rach likes Sfoglini waterfalls or riggies)
Grated pecorino cheese, to serve
Chopped parsley, to serve
Serves: 4 to 6
Heat pasta water to boil in large pot.
Salt eggplant and let dry on towels a few minutes while you prep the rest of ingredients.
Heat a large deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat with EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, add onions, celery, zucchini, Cubanelle and chili peppers and eggplant and soften 7 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, capers and olives. Sprinkle in sugar, douse pan with vinegar and add wine, then stir. Add stock and basil and simmer on low.
Season pasta water with salt and undercook pasta 1 minute. Add 1 cup pasta water to sauce, transfer pasta to sauce and toss an additional minute with grated cheese and more EVOO, if you feel it's needed. Pass more cheese at table and top with parsley to serve.