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Penne with Eggplant & the Piazza

Posted in Abruzzo, Caro Diario.(dear diary..), Country House Living, cucina, cucina povere, entertaining, La Dolce Vita, pizza, recipes, slow food, the Mediterranean diet, Travel & customs, Upcoming Appearances, and wine


copyright 2010 Maria Liberati

piazza 1

Evenings here always include a walk in the piazza to chat with old friends, make new ones, catch up on town gossip, and share recipes. The best excuse to take a walk after dinner….going to the piazza. Last night, besides some fluff type conversation of ‘how are you doing?” and “how is the family?” we also caught up with an old friend of ours that runs a local trattoria and also has a small farm that produces many of the vegetables served there. He bragged about his  eggplant (melanzane) this year  and he shared a recipe for a specialty dish they are serving at the trattoria in honor of his successful crop of eggplants.

 piazza 2

But even better yet, since I had such a ‘voglio’ to make this dish  for today’s lunch….this morning I was gifted with 3 fresh eggplants from Mario’s small farm…and am feverishly working on the recipe now….serve with a glass of Montepulciano D’Abruzzo and eat al fresco (if possible).


(So glad we went to the piazza last night!)  Please write and let me know if you get to try this easy recipe!

Pennette Alla Melanzane (Small Penne Pasta with Eggplant)

eggplant pasta

1 lb of pennette (small penne pasta)

1 lb of fresh eggplant-washed and cut into cubes

1 lb fresh plum tomatoes

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion-finely chopped

‘1 tsp of capers

1/4 cup black olives ,pitted and chopped

handful fresh basil

salt and pepper to taste

Place pennete in a pot of boiling water and cook for time indicated on package-till al dente.

Place olive oil in saute pan, place in chopped onion, saute till just before golden, place in cubed eggplant, diced tomatoes, add in pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Saute for 5 minutes ,add in chopped black olives and capers. Saute for 15 minutes over low heat ,covered.  Uncover and stir with wooden spoon every 2 or 3 minutes. Remove from heat, place in drained pasta toss. Serve hot ,cold or warm with a sprinkling of chopped fresh basil leaves.

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