Rich Sauce with White Eggplant & Herbs Recipe

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12 votes | 1879 views

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.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 4-6
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Ingredients

Cost per serving $0.94 view details
  • 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

Directions

  1. As the water heats in a deep pot for your pasta of choice,
  2. Heat the oil and add the garlic and onion and sweat them for 2 minutes
  3. Add the celery leaves stir for another minute
  4. Add the oregano and thyme, stir for a minute
  5. Add the salt and pepper and stir for a minute
  6. In a bowl, add the tomatoes to the grated cheese and mix well
  7. 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
  8. Add the eggplant disks and combine well with the sauce
  9. Reduce heat to a low simmer, stirring occasionally, while your pasta cooks

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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 151g
Recipe makes 4 servings
Calories 166  
Calories from Fat 122 73%
Total Fat 13.81g 17%
Saturated Fat 1.92g 8%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 590mg 25%
Potassium 314mg 9%
Total Carbs 11.05g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3.0g 10%
Sugars 6.65g 4%
Protein 1.47g 2%
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Reviews

  • Arturo Féliz-Camilo
    You had me at "eggplant" :)
    • judee
      Amos,
      What a fabulous looking recipe. I love the idea of eggplant and olives. And it looks easy to make as we..
      • John Spottiswood
        We had this three nights ago and it was delicious. The key is to have great tomatoes. The sauce lives or dies by the tomatoes. If you can't find good fresh ones, buy a high quality canned Italian tomato.
        I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
        • Aparna Anurag
          wow amazing
          I've cooked/tasted this recipe!

          Comments

          • Malli
            October 20, 2011
            The eggplant sounds so deelish and the color is gorgeous!!
            1 reply
            • Amos Miller
              October 20, 2011
              It is an excellent - and versatile - dish. You can even use this recipe as a stuffing for a baked butternut squash. Just grate a little extra cheese on top during the last 15 minutes of baking the squash. Thanks so much for your kind comment, Malli!
            • John Spottiswood
              September 27, 2011
              This looks fantastic, Amos! I'm adding this to my try soon list. Looking forward to having it sometime next month. Thanks for adding!
              • Amos Miller
                September 25, 2011
                Judee - it tasts even better than it sounds. No matter how you use it, your guests will love it!
                • Amos Miller
                  September 25, 2011
                  Hi, Thom - You can also add zucchini of the same size as the eggplant to this recipe - 12/ & 1/2, and enjoy even more varied texture and flavor.
                  • Amos Miller
                    September 24, 2011
                    Hi, Marie - I also prefer the smaller white eggpant, particularly for this type of dish, or to make a sweet pickle. I am very happy to have caught your eye and hope to have you try some of my other postings - we do a pretty good number of dishes using GF flours, so try the cornbread (a real easy, super tasty & nutritious recipe), or the carrot cake recipe - that one never fails when I offer it. Stay in touch.
                    • marie
                      September 24, 2011
                      Hello Amos - I am new to this site and your recipe here caught my eye! I went to a local farmers mkt & I picked up a few small white eggplant along w/ the larger white ones to test which I like better.Sauteed 'em both w/ other veggies.Must say i like the small ones better! Cannot wait to try this recipe..especailly with some gluten-free pasta! Thank you
                      • Amos Miller
                        September 22, 2011
                        I commend your good taste in vegetables, Arturo! So few people appreciate the eggplant, or aubergine, unless one is from a culture that KNOWS how versatile and delicious this vegetable is. They come in many varieties and shapes, even external colorations. But they are all delicious when married to a fine recipe. The cheese in this recipe acts as a wonderful binder and does so much more than just flavor the sauce. I am anxious for you to try this recipe and get back to me with your comments. If you have difficulty obtaining the Nicoise olives, I would recommend very well-rinsed Gaetas. Watch the salt, however. Thanks for your comment!

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