1 hour 40 minutes
200g mini-penne pasta
800g canned whole peeled tomatoes
2 mozzarella balls
basil, to taste
salt, to taste
extra virgin olive oil, as needed
sunflower oil for frying
Dice the aubergines and put them in a sieve sprinkled with coarse salt. Cover them with a plate and put a weight on top. Leave for an hour to get rid of the excess water.
Rinse, dry, and fry the eggplant cubes in plenty of sunflower oil. Drain and dry on paper towels.
Dice the mozzarella and let the liquid drain.
Crush the tomatoes with a fork.
Sauté the chopped onion with the chilli pepper in a skillet in extra virgin olive oil. When the onion has softened, add the tomatoes and let the sauce thicken over low heat for about 20 minutes.
Add the aubergines and after a few minutes turn off the heat.
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water till al dente (2 minutes before they are done). Drain the pasta.
Toss the pasta in the sauce.
Add torn basil leaves and the diced mozzarella (keep a few cubes to one side). Mix well and put in an oven dish.
Sprinkle the remaining cubes of mozzarella on the top and place under the grill in the oven, pre-heated to 200 C for 2-3 minutes until nicely browned on the top.
Garnish with fresh basil before serving.