Penne with Ratatouille Sauce

The famous vegetable stew of Provence, ratatouille, redolent of fresh herbs and plenty of garlic, serves as an ideal topping for pasta. Pretty here over penne pasta, this ratatouille sauce can also be layered with cooked lasagna noodles, sprinkled with cheese, and baked.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 small Japanese eggplants, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 can (35 ounces) whole tomatoes, chopped with their juice
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
12 ounces penne or other tube-shaped pasta

1 In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, onion, and garlic. Stir-fry until the vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of the basil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes.
2 Add the tomatoes, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer while you cook the pasta.
3 In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and transfer to individual dinner plates.
4 Spoon the sauce over the penne. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup basil. Makes 4 servings

Makes Makes 4 servings servings.
Per serving: 410 calories, 5.4g total fat (0.8g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 9g dietary fiber, 79g carbohydrate, 14g protein, 376mg sodium.