Tomato Eggplant & Basil Sauce

Posted by on Aug 28, 2011 | Comments Off on Tomato Eggplant & Basil Sauce

2 small (or 1 medium) eggplant (about 3/4 pound)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (divided)
2 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
3 medium, ripe tomatoes (about 1 & 1/4 lbs) cored and diced small
1/2 tsp pure salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
10 large, fresh basil leaves cut into thin strips
1/2 cup ricotta cheese (optional)
12 oz ziti or penne

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  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Peel the eggplant and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
  • Place on a baking sheet (I like to line w/ parchment paper).
  • Drizzle 2 TBSP of the oil over the top and toss gently.
  • Spread the cubes out so they’re in a single layer.

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  • Bake until the eggplant is golden brown – about 30-40 mins (tossing once, halfway through if you’d like).

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  • Core and dice tomatoes.  I use my “kwik kut” gadget which chops them up really fast.  (Click HERE for more info on the kwik kut tool.)  You don’t have to cut/mash them as much as I did here.  If you’re using a knife, just dice them up.

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  • Heat the remaining 2 TBSP oil in a medium saucepan.
  • Add the (lightly smashed) garlic and saute over medium heat until golden – about 3 mins.

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  • Remove and discard the garlic.
  • Add the tomatoes and salt/pepper to taste.
  • Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes soften and form a sauce – 5 to 10 mins, depending on their initial firmness.

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  • Stir in the roasted eggplant and basil.
  • Cook 1 to 2 mins more to heat through.

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  • Place the ricotta in a small bowl.
  • Cook pasta until al dente in salted water and drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.
  • Stir the reserved cooking liquid into the ricotta to thin it.
  • Stir the ricotta into the sauce, then add the drained pasta and mix well.

Serves 3.

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SIDE NOTES:

~ Another good one, helping to put those fresh, summer tomatoes to use (not to mention freshly harvested eggplant and basil!) – adapted from “The Complete Vegetarian Italian Cookbook.”

~ This recipe is pretty straight forward. The only thing you may want to do is peel the tomatoes before you dice them. I’ve made it both ways, with skin/seeds intact, and another time peeled & seeded. Both ways are fine, as long as you don’t mind bits of tomato skin floating in the sauce. If you think the skin would bother you, believe it or not, peeling tomatoes is no big deal. Click HERE for easy instructions.

~ We’ve had this both with & without the ricotta. It’s good either way.

~ When fresh tomatoes are not in season (or if you don’t feel like doing the extra prep work), feel free to make this dish using a 28 oz package of crushed, diced, whole, or pureed tomatoes (whatever appeals to you most).

 For those with various food restrictions, this recipe falls into the following categories:

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Sugar Free, Grain Free, Vegan, Raw

If eating gluten and/or sugar free, use an appropriate pasta (brown rice pasta is our personal preference), and double check labels of any packaged products such as tomatoes, olives & capers.  Of course, if you’re eating grain free, you can simply use this tasty sauce to top your protein of choice such as chicken or tempeh.


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