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Best of the Best Vol. 11
from the editors of Food & Wine
Cristina's Tuscan Table
Cristina Ceccatelli Cook

As someone once said, "No man is lonely while eating spaghetti—it requires too much attention!"
Serves 6

• 2 medium eggplants, skins on, cut in 1-inch cubes
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• 1¼ cups extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 4 cups diced fresh tomatoes
• 10 canned piquillo peppers or 3 roasted bell peppers, skins and seeds removed, cut in 1/2-inch strips
• 2 tablespoons minced garlic
• 2 cups Salsa Rossa or canned tomato sauce
• 1 cup fresh basil leaves, cut in strips
• Pinch of hot red pepper flakes
• 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
• 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
• 1 pound spaghetti
• Shaved Parmigiano

Place eggplant in colander, sprinkle with salt, and let rest for one hour.

Pat eggplant dry. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil on high. Add in one layer of eggplant and cook until crispy on one side. Do not stir. Turn to crisp other side. Eggplant will shrink and crisp. Repeat until all the eggplant is crispy.

In a wide pot, heat 1/4 cup olive oil, add diced tomatoes and peppers, and cook on high, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Lower heat, add garlic, and cook for 2 more minutes. Add eggplant and Salsa Rossa, and cook, stirring gently a couple of times. Add basil, red pepper flakes, oregano, and parsley.

In a large pot, bring salted water to boil and cook spaghetti until al dente. Drain, reserving 2 cups cooking water. Add pasta to sauce and cook over high heat 2 to 3 minutes, adding a little pasta water if needed to keep everything juicy. Serve with shaved Parmigiano.

• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 pound very ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• Pinch of hot red pepper flakes
• 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
• Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes, and sauté until tomatoes are soft. Stir in fresh basil, and add salt and pepper to taste. Puree or leave chunky.


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