Serves 4


  • 3 Asian eggplants (3/4 pound), cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 large plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 pound penne
  • 4 ounces mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup sliced basil leaves


    Active time: 20 minutes
    Total time: 30 minutes

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a 12-inch skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add half the eggplant, cover and cook 2 minutes. Uncover, flip eggplant and cook 1 minute longer. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and remaining eggplant. Toss with red wine vinegar and 1/4 tsp. salt. In the same skillet, add 2 Tbsp. olive oil and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until golden, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and red pepper flakes and cook until tomatoes soften, about 2 minutes. Add lemon zest and reserved eggplant. Cover and set aside.

    In the pot of boiling water, cook penne until al dente. Drain and add to skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, tossing gently until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add mozzarella and Parmesan. Remove from heat and toss with basil and 1/2 tsp. salt. Divide among 4 bowls and serve.

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