Pasta Main Course

Spaghetti with Tomato Eggplant Sauce

Makes 6 first course servings.

Makes 4 main course servings.

This dish is for any time of year since the tomato sauce is not made with fresh tomatoes and eggplant is available all year.

Traditionally the eggplant is fried or roasted, but I prefer to broil it. This method requires less oil and saves time.

Freezing this sauce to have on hand is a help.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 baby eggplants, about ¾ pounds (See Note)
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • One 28 ounce can crushed San Marzano style tomatoes
  • 1 cup tightly packed basil leaves, coarsely torn
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder, approx
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Trim and discard eggplant stems, peel the eggplants, cut into ½ an inch dice, and place in a bowl. Toss the eggplant with ¼ cup of oil and spread it on a foil lined baking sheet.
  3. Broil for about 8 minutes or until almost soft. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  4. In a large saucepan heat the rest of the oil, add the onion and garlic and sauté over low heat, covered for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes, basil and chili powder. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Add the eggplant and combine.  
  6. Bring 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil, add 2 tablespoons salt and all the spaghetti at once. Stir and boil briskly, uncovered for about 7 minutes. The pasta should be very al dente; it will continue cooking in the hot sauce.
  7. Drain well in a colander and combine with the hot sauce.
  8. Season to taste

NOTE:

I prefer using baby eggplants because they are not as seedy as regular ones.