This version of eggplant pasta has a lovely fresh flavor. You will learn to love eggplant, if you make this dish!
- 1 large globe eggplant
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes with juice
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 2 c water
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 small sprig fresh basil or 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- Cut eggplant (with skin) in 1/3 inch-thick, crosswise slices.
- Working in one or two batches, spread some of the oil on a griddle or heavy skillet over medium low heat. Add eggplant slices and cook about 2-3 minutes on each side, adding oil as needed. Eggplant should become browned and tender.
- Remove eggplant to a holding dish. When cool enough to handle, cut slices in quarters and set aside.
- Pour tomatoes with juice into a large bowl and crush with your hands.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water, red pepper flakes, basil and salt. Stir.
- Simmer sauce until thickened and oil on surface is rust colored, about 15 minutes. Discard basil. Stir in eggplant and heat briefly.
- Cook 8-12 ounces of dry pasta to the al dente stage. Pour eggplant sauce on top and add a sprinkling of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese if desired.