Recipe of the week:
Eggplant Sausage Pasta
• 1 large eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 7 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 3/4 pounds spicy Italian sausages, cut up
• 1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
• 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 1/2 serrano chilies, seeded, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
• 1 1/4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
• 2/3 cup whipping cream
• 1 pound cavatapi or penne pasta
• 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 cup (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
• 2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
• Additional grated Parmesan cheese
Toss eggplant with 1 tablespoon salt in large colander. Place over bowl and let stand 30 minutes.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add eggplant; saute until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover; chill.) Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook meat until brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer meat to plate.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, garlic and chilies; sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add sausage, broth and cream. Simmer until sausage is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add eggplant and simmer 1 minute.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Transfer to large bowl.
Toss pasta with sauce and 1 cup Parmesan cheese. Mix in basil and pine nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve pasta, passing additional Parmesan cheese separately.