-Cook 1 pound penne pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, according to package instructions.
-Drain pasta; return to pot.
-Cut 1 large or 2 medium eggplants into 1 inch chunks.
-Put in a large bowl and fill the bowl with cold water and some ice cubes.
-Let the eggplant soak for 10 minutes, then drain and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
-Slice 4 cloves of garlic into thin slices.
-Cut 1 pound of tomatoes into ½ inch chunks.
-Heat 4 TBS extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the following:
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
The sliced garlic
-Cook, stirring often for about 2 minutes.
-Add eggplant to skillet; season generously with salt and pepper.
-Cover, and cook until eggplant begins to release juices, about 5 minutes.
-Uncover; cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes (if bottom of pan browns too much, add a few tablespoons water, and scrape with spoon).
-Add the following to the pan:
2 TBS tomato paste
The diced tomatoes
1/4 cup water
-Cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
-Tear up a large handful of basil leaves.
-Toss sauce and basil with pasta; gently reheat if necessary.
-Top each serving with a spoonful of whole milk ricotta and garnish with more basil.