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On a trip to Palermo for my 30th birthday was where I experienced the perfect simplicity - and multiple renditions - of this Sicilian classic. Typically, in Sicilian restaurants they would ask if you want your pasta "long" or "short" referring to the noodle. Typically a rigatoni or penne if short, spaghetti if long. But honestly this dish works with any pasta. It's also served with pecorino (sheeps milk) cheese, not parmesan, which is saltier and sharper than parmesan, and very popular in Sicily in general. Another alternative is ricotta salata, a hard and sharp derivitive of ricotta. Your eggplant can be sliced long, into disks or chopped into cubes. Your going to want to salt and pat dry the moisture out of the eggplants before you fry them so they don't turn to mush, and therefore, your going to want to avoid salt in your pasta water, the sauce is going to tend be quite salty from the eggplant and the pecorino cheese. You can wipe some of it off before frying.
1 Large Eggplant
1 Jar Monte’s Sauce
1lb of Pasta of your choice
¼lb Pecorino Cheese (grated)
Always start with a large pot of water to boil. Do not salt.
Slice the eggplant about ½ inch thick disks or ½ inch cubes, place in a plate on paper towels and salt, dabbing moisture off every 10 minutes.
Cook eggplant in abundant olive oil, without crowding, adding more oil as needed.
You will have to cook in batches; take your time and cook until the eggplant is nicely browned and soft. Remove to a plate; do not drain on paper towels.
After all the eggplant is removed from the oil, turn heat to med low, and add a complete jar of Monte’s sauce.
Optional: add some chopped shallots, garlic and / or red pepper to oil if you prefer before the Sauce.
Boil your pasta, and add your half of the eggplant into your sauce. Simmer on low.
When pasta is al dente transfer to sauce and finish cooking until sauce has coated your noodles and pasta is fully cooked.
Plate and top with reserved eggplant and shaved pecorino.