This was a delicious pasta with a ton of flavor! Healthy too (we consider olive oil to be healthy, no matter in what quantity it is used). The original recipe called for swordfish, which didn’t work for us because 1. we couldn’t find it in Kroger, 2. we wouldn’t have wanted to pay the price even if we did, and 3. even if you were going to splurge and buy a nice piece of fish, why chop it up and put it in a pasta that is plenty good without it?
Hence, I give you, Sicilian Penne WITHOUT Swordfish. :)
(If you really wanted some meat, try chicken. It’d go great with this dish).
Sicilian Penne Without Swordfish
Makes 4-6 servings.
1 pound penne pasta
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (plus more to taste)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus 1/3 cup
4 eggplant, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/3 cup white wine
2 cups halved teardrop or cherry tomatoes (red, yellow or a blend)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Lay eggplant flat on a cookie cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet. Salt generously and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. Flip, salt other side, and let sit for another 10-15 minutes. This step draws out much of the liquid as well as the bitterness in the eggplant. Cut into cubes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.
Meanwhile, place a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the 1/3 cup olive oil, garlic, red chili flakes, and 1/4 cup parsley. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggplant and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the pan and set aside. Season the swordfish cubes with salt and pepper.
Using the same pan, over medium-high heat, add 2 remaining tablespoons of olive oil and white wine, let simmer and reduce for about 2 minutes (this is where you’d add the chicken/swordfish/etc to the pan). Turn off the heat. Add the tomatoes, eggplant, cooked pasta, the remaining 1/3 cup parsley and stir. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Stir to combine.