Recipe for penne with eggplant Bolognese

Karoline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe

Serves 4 with leftovers

2 large eggplant, cut into ½-inch cubes
5 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes, crushed in a bowl
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more to taste
1 cup red wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 pounds penne
2 cups grated fresh Parmesan

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1. Set the oven at 400 degrees.

2. In a bowl, toss the eggplant with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Spread it on a rimmed baking sheet and roast it, turning several times, for 25 minutes or until it is cooked through.

3. In a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onions, carrots, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, red pepper, and wine. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

4. Add the eggplant, oregano, and thyme. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Simmer for 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and red pepper, if you like. Transfer half the sauce to a container for the timbale.

5. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the penne, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until it is tender but still has some bite.

6. Dip a heatproof measuring cup into the pasta water and remove ½ cup. Drain the pasta without rinsing it. Add half the pasta and 1 cup Parmesan to the container of sauce for the timbale.

7. If the Bolognese in the pan seems thick, thin it with pasta water. In each of 4 shallow bowls, ladle some of the Bolognese, add pasta, and more Bolognese. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and black pepper. Molly Kravitz