|1 large eggplant, cut into small cubes||14 oz (400 g) can diced tomatoes, with juices|
|sea salt and freshly ground black pepper||pinch of dried oregano|
|2-3 tbsp olive oil||1 tsp sun-dried tomato pesto|
|¼ cup dry red wine||12 oz (350 g) dried medium pasta shells (conchiglie)|
|1 onion, finely diced||Parmesan cheese, grated, to serve (optional)|
|2 garlic cloves finely chopped|
Place the eggplant cubes in a colander and sprinkle well with salt. Cover the eggplant directly with a plate, then place a heavy weight on top for 10 minutes to extract the bitter juices. Use your hands to squeeze out excess moisture.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the eggplant cubes, and cook over medium heat for 4-6 minutes, until golden. Add the wine, increase the heat, and allow to bubble for a couple of minutes. Stir in the onion and garlic, cook for a few seconds, then stir in the tomatoes with their juices. Add the oregano and pesto and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions, until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain, reserving a small amount of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot and toss together with the reserved cooking water. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Add the sauce to the pasta, and toss again. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan, and serve.
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