Rich Sauce with White Eggplant & Herbs Recipe
Eggplant has nothing to do with eggs - unless you dip and bread them. This sauce is a knockout! We grow 'Casper', an heirloom small, long white eggplant. It's mild in flavor and perfectly suited to thick, rich vegetable sauces.
When cut into dime-to-quarter-sized disks, I have found Casper to be a perfect addition to other late summer produce. So I developed the following sauce for pasta and rice dishes. It is also perfectly delicious on toast points as an appetizer, even as a side dish.. It may remind you of a ratatouille puttanesca, or any number of other combinations - but I would urge you to give this recipe a try. Whatever you want to call it - it is very delicious!
While you may not grow or have Farmer's Market access to Casper, you may find that another variety of small, or baby eggplant will carry this recipe well. I have also had great success with baby Japanese eggplants as a vehicle for this recipe. However, I will be increasing our crop of Casper next year! Casper is now haunting the "what else can I make" section of my mind.
We do make our own Roma tomato sauce base, which, like your canned, diced tomatoes, needs to be reduced. It is also not our custom here to drown any pasta dish in sauce, which happens all too frequently, but to coat and bring flavor to the pasta.
But right now, let's make a winning multi-purpose sauce.
- 2 C diced tomatoes in their juice (from the garden is recommended)
- 1/4 C olive oil
- 1/2 lb white eggplants, peeled & sliced into 1/4" disks
- 1/2 Nicoise olives, pitted and cut in halves
- 1/2 a sweet onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 Tbs celery leaves (never throw them away!), finely chopped
- 1 C grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 Tbs granulated sugar (to balance the acid of the tomatoes)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- As the water heats in a deep pot for your pasta of choice,
- Heat the oil and add the garlic and onion and sweat them for 2 minutes
- Add the celery leaves stir for another minute
- Add the oregano and thyme, stir for a minute
- Add the salt and pepper and stir for a minute
- In a bowl, add the tomatoes to the grated cheese and mix well
- Add the tomato cheese mixture to the sauce pan, and bring to a moderate simmer to reduce the sauce. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Your sauce will thicken appreciably
- Add the eggplant disks and combine well with the sauce
- Reduce heat to a low simmer, stirring occasionally, while your pasta cooks
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|Amount Per Serving||%DV|
|Serving Size 151g|
|Recipe makes 4 servings|
|Calories from Fat 122||73%|
|Total Fat 13.81g||17%|
|Saturated Fat 1.92g||8%|
|Trans Fat 0.0g|
|Total Carbs 11.05g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber 3.0g||10%|