ziti with fried eggplant

Cut up an eggplant into bite-size cubes and salt it well in a colander, allowing it to drain for at least 20 minutes to get the bitterness out of it. Wash off the salt and pat the eggplant dry with paper towels. Fry the eggplant in batches (no flour) in about 1 1/2 inches of canola oil until the cubes are nicely browned. Drain on paper towels and salt immediately after frying like French fries.

Meanwhile, boil ziti and heat up your favorite pasta sauce. Drain the cooked ziti and add to the pasta sauce. Toss in some grated parmesan cheese and stir. Plate the pasta and sauce and top with a handful of the fried eggplant cubes; top with some shredded ricotta salata cheese and chopped fresh basil. Serve with toasted Italian bread and enjoy!