Serve this tasty cold pasta salad, flavored with traditional eggplant caponata, for a family dinner, potluck, or buffet.
6 to 8 servings
- 1 large eggplant, about 1 to 1 1/4 pounds
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced .
- 2 medium celery stalks, diced
- 1 pound ripe juicy tomatoes, finely diced
- 1/2 cup chopped green olives
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, optional
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 10 to 12 ounces pasta, any short shape
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the eggplant on a foil-lined baking sheet, and bake until it collapses, about 40 minutes. When it is cool enough to handle, peel it and finely chop the flesh.
To make the caponata, heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and celery, and saute until the onion is lightly browned. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggplant with the onion mixture and the rest of the ingredients, and stir together. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Once the caponata is nearly cooled, cook the pasta in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente. Drain and rinse under cool water, then drain well again. Combine with the caponata, toss well, and serve at room temperature.