|Eggplant and tomato spaghetti. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books|
At the height of summer, when the markets are filled with Technicolor produce, pick out a beautiful, plump eggplant and a few heirloom tomatos and make this sumptuous variation on ratatouille. Minus the squash, it's still rich with roasted vegetal and herbal deliciousness. This recipe is adapted from Francis Lam's Let-My-Eggplant-Go-Free! Sauce
Eggplant and Tomato Spaghetti
Serves 3 generous portions
1 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into ½ inch dice
1 tablespoon salt
3 ripe tomatoes
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 sprigs thyme or oregano, chopped
1 cup water
6 leaves basil, chiffonade
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound spaghetti, cooked
1. Place the eggplant cubes in a sieve over a bowl and toss with salt. Let sit for a half hour to draw the bitter juices out of the eggplant. Meanwhile, peel and cut the tomatoes into chunks.
2. In a heavy saucepan such as a Dutch oven, pour in the olive oil and set over low heat. Add the garlic cloves.
3. Wipe any moisture off of the eggplant. When the garlic sizzles, add the eggplant and stir to coat it with oil. Turn up the heat, add the tomato and herbs and stir. When the eggplant and tomato soften, add the liquid, let it come to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot, leaving an edge exposed for steam to escape.
4. After about 20 minutes, the vegetables should be soft and melting and ready for the pasta. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve immediately, garnished with additional basil.
Text and images copyright 2013, Lucy Mercer.