This is a heartier version of a traditional pasta sauce. It does have the added step of prepping the eggplant but the effort is worthwhile and you can freeze this to have through the week. It takes 45mins – 1hour to prepare. The recipe below will provide 8-10 servings.
Prep work: -Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) -Thinly slice 1 medium sized eggplant, salt each side (let rest for 5mins per side) -Chop 1/4 of a sweet onion and 1 garlic clove -Cover large pan with olive oil and turn on high heat
Place each sliced eggplant in hot oil for 1-minute each side. The oil will absorb into the eggplant turning the centers more golden. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil and let rest for 1-2 minutes. Place the eggplant in oven-safe container, sprinkle the diced onions and garlic and cover with tin foil. Let it cook for 15 minutes.
Making the gravy: Remove the excess oil from the pan used for the eggplant add remainder of diced onion (3/4 of the sweet onion that remains) and 1-2 cloves of minced garlic. Add 2 cans of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes (mash these after you add). You may blend the sauce after cooked if you prefer a less lumpy sauce). Add 1tsp of salt; 1 tsp of black pepper; and large carrot (minced).
When the eggplant is done, take it out of the oven and add to the red gravy. Use a potato masher to grind the eggplant and tomatoes. Keep heat on medium and stir every few minutes with pan partially covered. Let the liquid reduce and thicken for 20-30 minutes. The last 5 minutes you cook the sauce add half a dozen chopped basil leaves and give one last stir.
Cooking hints: -San Marzano tomatoes are ideal for sauces because they are so sweet. -Using a minced carrot will cut the acidity to a tomato based sauce. -You can substitute 1 tbsp of sugar if you don’t have a carrot. -I like to make this on the weekends to use through the week.