3 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut into slivers
3 pounds of ripe fresh tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium-sized eggplant, cut into ½ inch cubes
3 cups loosely packed whole basil leaves
1 cup grated ricotta salata
1 pound rigatoni

Boil a large pot of salted water for the pasta. When the water comes to a boil, plunge the tomatoes into the water for one minute. Remove them with a slotted spoon and slip the skins off. Take two separate saute pans and add one tablespoon of olive oil to each over high heat. Toast the garlic in one and heat the oil in the other, very hot, then add the diced eggplant. Add the cleaned tomatoes to the garlic pan once they have just begun to gain color. Meanwhile, brown the eggplant in batches as needed to cook them through and give them a deep brown color. Remove the eggplant to a baking sheet lined with paper towels while cooking the tomato sauce down for at least an hour and a half. When the tomato sauce is thick and cohesive, add the eggplant and basil. Salt conservatively, knowing the cheese will add more, and stir to incorporate. Drop the rigatoni into the boiling water and cook until it still has the slightest bite to it, then drain and add to the tomato sauce, tossing with the ricotta salata, and serve immediately.

This recipe first appeared with this article.