Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Penne Pasta with Tuna

1 small eggplant (1-1 1/4 lbs.)
8 oz. penne pasta
Spray olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 can (6 oz.) water-packed solid tuna, drained well
2 Tbsp. chopped green olives
2 Tbsp. capers, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup toasted breadcrumbs (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut eggplant vertically into 3/4-inch slices. Trim away peel and cut flesh into 3/4-inch cubes. Arrange eggplant in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet. Coat pieces well with olive oil spray. Bake 15 minutes or until eggplant is soft but holds its shape, stirring once to turn cubes. Cook pasta in a large pot of water, simmering until just tender. heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant, onion and tomatoes. Stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, cook until tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes. Add tuna, mixing pieces into the sauce. Add olives, capers, basil and parsley. Cook just until evenly heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain cooked pasta, but leave some water still clinging to it. Immediately add it to the sauce. Stir to combine well. Serve immediately, if desired with a bowl of breadcrumbs to sprinkle over the pasta in place of cheese.

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