Sliced into thumb-thick sticks and coated in salt then rested in a towel for 30 min to remove moisture and bitterness, then brushed clean.
1 28oz can San Marzano tomatoes, chopped
3 cloves garlic smashed (or Microplaned) mixed with 1tsp salt into a paste
2 tsp red chili pepper flakes
4-5 leaves of fresh basil, chiffonade
Feta cheese, crumbled (Bulgarian preferred)
or traditionally, Caciocavallo if you can find it
Box of spaghetti, opened.
Prep your eggplant.
Start the stock pot of water on high, do the rest of your prep work.
When the water is boiling and prep is finished…
Over med-high heat, fry eggplant in sauté pan with olive oil until lightly golden
Remove and set aside.
Add the spaghetti to the boiling stock pot, and start cooking the sauce…
Fry garlic paste in same oil until fragrant
Add chili and chopped tomatoes, mix well
Add eggplant and gently stir.
Crumble in cheese, basil then taste to see if salt is needed.
Add pasta and toss to coat.
Turn out to a large bowl and add more cheese to taste
Feta cheese and how salty it is, varies widely based on origin: Greek feta can be very firm and salty, Bulgarian is creamier and less salty. Feta cheese loves black pepper, so try some as a finishing spice.
Like many southern Italian al-fresco/ala-minute meals, this is all timed around the pasta. About 45-60 min.