Eggplant Pasta Salad



*3 tablespoons olive oil

*2 celery stalks, sliced

*1 eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

*1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

*1/4 cup tomato paste

*1/4 cup white wine vinegar

* kosher salt and black pepper

*1 tablespoon sugar

*2 tablespoons capers

*1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)

*1 Cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

*1 pound dried penne


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
    Add the celery and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the eggplant and tomatoes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, vinegar, ¼ cup water, 2 ½ teaspoons salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and the sugar.
    Stir into the eggplant mixture.
  3. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low.
    Cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the capers, pine nuts (if desired), and parsley.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the penne according to the package directions.
    Toss with the remaining oil; let cool. Combine with the eggplant mixture and serve.