A while back, I had a giant eggplant in the house (from my mom's neighbor's garden) and no idea what I was going to serve six hungry people for dinner. I had pasta, too (as always), so I Googled recipes for eggplant and pasta and this is what I came up with. I'm guessing I got it on Epicurious, but it wasn't clear on the printout I had in my recipe basket. It's simple, quick and delicious, especially with a glass of red wine and a green salad. And if you have fresh ricotta, add a tablespoon of that on top for pure perfection.
Serves 4 to 6
- 2 medium eggplants
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped plum tomatoes or one 14-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, plus extra for finishing
- 1/4 cup fresh, chopped basil, plus extra for finishing
- 1 pound pasta
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste
- Salt and pepper
Cut the eggplants crosswise into 1-inch thick slices. Lay the slices on a baking sheet, salt them well on both sides, and set aside for half an hour or so.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Drizzle two tablespoons of olive oil over the eggplant, tossing the slices to coat them. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheets and roast them until they're tender and browning, about 20 minutes. (Turn once after 10 minutes.)
While the eggplant roasts, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil (add more if needed) on low heat in a large saucepan. Add the onions and the minced garlic and sauté until onions are soft (about 8 to 10 minutes). Add the tomatoes, oregano, pepper flakes and basil. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened up (approximately 10 to 12 minutes). When the eggplant is ready, remove it from the oven, chop it into 1-inch pieces, and add it to the sauce. Continue to simmer gently on very low heat.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until done. Top the pasta with eggplant, chopped basil, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and grated Parmesan and serve.