My "back porch" is my kitchen, my favorite room in the house. Come on in, the coffee is fresh, and I just made a pitcher of sweet tea. The cookies will be out in a minute. I have over 40 years of recipes to share with you, along with my opinion on everything. Oh my, you are right, it is cocktail time. What can I get you? Of course I can make you a Mint Julep! Stop by anytime, something is always cooking, and the back door is never locked.

Bon Appetit, Y'all

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Eggplant Sauce for Pasta

I love a good homemade pasta sauce, but some days I just don't have time to watch that pot cook for two or three hours. The times I've left it on simmer and leave the house I come home and it's stuck to the bottom of the pan. This is quick and easy. Make it in the morning and refrigerate until you're ready to cook the pasta and make the salad.

This truly is my favorite pasta sauce. Did I mention that I hate pasta sauce with hamburger in it. If I want hamburger and tomato sauce I'll make chili. Eggplant is a great substitute for meat. Today we're making pasta sauce.

Eggplant Pasta Sauce
will serve 4-5

1 whole eggplant, about 1 1/2 pounds
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce
1 cup dry red wine
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried red pepper, crushed
1 tablespoon capers
1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, for sauce
1 pound spaghetti or other pasta of your choice, cooked according to package directions
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Minced parsley for garnish

Peel the eggplant and cut into 3/4"cubes. Don't stand there and measure the cubes, do the best you can. Place the cubes in a colander. With your hands, rub 1 teaspoon salt into the cubes. Let the eggplant drain the the colander for 30 minutes, then take some paper towels and blot dry. This will remove the bitter juices from the eggplant.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Stir-fry the eggplant and garlic until the eggplant is light brown and limp. Add tomato sauce, red wine, salt and pepper to taste, and red pepper. Simmer over a low flame for another 15 minutes, stirring now and then. Add capers, pine nuts and 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Stir for a minute until blended.

To serve, place some sauce on each portion of cooked pasta, and top with additional Parmesan and a little minced parsley.

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