Eggplant-Pepper Tomato Sauce Recipe

Packed with the flavors of summer, this sauce brightens up anything it’s paired with. Try it over pasta, poached eggs, grilled chicken, or even baked over polenta for a quick, satisfying gratin.

 

Game plan: If you’ve canned your own tomatoes, they can be used here. Just remove the tomatoes from their juice and dice them before proceeding with the recipe.

 

INGREDIENTS

1 medium eggplant, medium dice (about 6 cups)

8 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped

4 medium garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 medium red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, medium dice (about 2 cups)

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, strained

2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water

2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped

 

Eggplant-Pepper Tomato Sauce Recipe

 

Generously salt eggplant and place in a colander set in the sink. Weight it down with a bowl (the bowl should be pressing on the diced eggplant without crushing it) and set aside for 20 minutes to drain. Lightly blot eggplant with paper towels to remove excess moisture.

Heat 6 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large straight-sided skillet or 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. Once heated, add eggplant and let sit, undisturbed, until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir and continue cooking until eggplant begins to color, about 8 minutes more. Remove eggplant from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Discard any remaining oil, wipe out the pan with paper towels, return it to the stove over medium heat, and add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. When oil is hot, add onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Add bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens and is just beginning to color, about 5 minutes.

Add browned eggplant, tomatoes, and vegetable broth or water; bring to a simmer. Add oregano and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened and vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes.

Stir in parsley and basil. Taste sauce and, if necessary, season with more salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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