My garden has been bursting forth with tomatoes and eggplants, and today I harvested a plenty! We are going out of town soon, so I needed to use the produce up, and fast. The last thing I’ve felt like doing is cooking lately, in this heat! But a nice, light pasta sounded manageable.
I’ve never made tomato sauce from scratch before! That being said, this sauce turned out to be so much more than I ever imagined. It’s creamy, rich, and almost decadent from the eggplant. The fresh tomatoes lend a tangy sweetness that is nothing like canned tomatoes or the sauce I usually use. The sauce is mellow but somehow bursting with depth and flavor. I’m proud to say that the majority of the ingredients for the sauce came from my garden! Urban gardening like whoa. I served this over a bed of brown rice spaghetti, but it would be great with any pasta you like. Top with a good, strong parmesan or a light, creamy mozzarella. You won’t be sorry, and I doubt you’ll go back to canned sauce ever again! (Ok, maybe when it’s late and you’re tired and you don’t have 2 lbs of ripe tomatoes ready to go…)
Additions or enhancements to make in the future: Add lemon juice or zest, use some wine instead of some of the chicken broth, add onions, mushrooms or greens. But honestly, it’s perfect the way it is.
Eggplant and Tomato Pasta Sauce
- 1 lb. eggplant (any type), chopped into 1″ cubes or 1/2 moons
- 2 lbs. ripe or over ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- pinch of dried thyme
- pinch of dried rosemary
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- bunch of fresh basil
- shredded parmesan or mozzarella cheese
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet, then add eggplant. Add a pinch of salt, then sauté eggplant until it begins to soften, about 7 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and stir, sautéing for another 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and stir, sautéing for another minute.
- Add the chicken broth, thyme, bay leaves, rosemary and cayenne pepper (wait to the end to salt, as the sauce will become more salty as it reduces). If you don’t have the herbs, don’t worry. I literally just used a tiny pinch of each. Dried “italian seasoning” or oregano would work too.
- Bring the sauce to a boil over high heat, then lower heat to medium-low. Simmer until the liquid reduces, stirring occasionally. I simmered for a good 30-35 minutes, so if you can’t wait that long, use less broth. But I assure you, it’s worth the wait!
- When the sauce is a nice, thick saucy consistency (eggplant and tomatoes will be translucent and broken down), you are done! Oh, except don’t forget to add salt and pepper and taste it!
- Serve over your favorite pasta, with your favorite shredded cheese and torn fresh basil leaves.