Pasta con le Melanzane (Eggplant sauce)

Since our cooking class was all about Eggplants, I thought it appropriate to show everyone how easy it is to make a great sauce with eggplants. If using small, Japanese eggplants or any smaller sweet, variety, they can be sliced and cooked. If using larger varieties, like Black Beauty, you may want to place them under salt for an hour or two to help extract the bitterness away from the eggplant.  You can oven roast them as we discussed in class by salting them, brushing them with olive oil and placing them into a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. Oven roasting intensifies flavor. Whichever way, it's all delicious. 
What a great idea for a pasta sauce.  My mother could always make a meal for us out of very little and very few ingredients, life's simple pleasures.  It doesn't take much to make a fantastic pasta sauce. 

2 medium Japanese eggplants, (peeled if store bought, cut up and diced, skin on if out of the garden)
3 tablespoons red onion
1 tablespoon garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for garnish)
1 handful of fresh basil
12 oz of tubular pasta (this form will hold the sauce well)
1 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes and there juice
1 cup water
1/2 cup white wine (optional, but adds fabulous flavor, your alcohol will evaporate away).
1/4 cup milk (to cut the acidity of both the eggplants and tomatoes)

In a pan, heat your oil on medium/low
Add your diced onion, garlic and eggplants and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Cover your pan.  After about 5 minutes check your vegetables are cooking but not sticking.  Give them a mix.   Continuing cooking until fragrant and your eggplants have become shiny and wilted.  Then add your tomatoes, wine, milk and stir.  Add some fresh basil and stir again.  Let sauce reduce by more than half.  This should take about 12-15 minutes on medium/low.   You will notice your sauce will thicken.   Set aside to cool.  In Meantime add your dry pasta to your boiling water.  Drain, mix with sauce.  Add Parmigiano Reggiano cheese if you like~ A great glass of Chianti goes well with this dish.   Buon Appetito~


This looks so delicious Barbara! By the way, I just added you to my blogroll!

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