This sauce goes well with a tubular pasta, such as rigatoni, or a long pasta, such as spaghetti. It benefits from slower cooking, becoming a rich sauce that is delicious accompanied by a leafy green salad. From The Classic Vegetarian Cookbook.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 medium eggplant, finely diced
- 1 red pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2 (14 ounce) cans whole tomatoes, with juice coarsely chopped
- salt, to taste
- black pepper, freshly ground to taste
- 1 lb rigatoni pasta
- parmesan cheese, fresh cut into flakes (optional)
- basil leaves, fresh to garnish
- Warm 2 Tbsp of the olive oil in a saucepan over moderate heat, add the onion, cover, and cook until tender: about 5 minutes. Add the eggplant, red pepper, and garlic, cover, and cook for a futher 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour in the tomatoes with their juice, reduce the heat, and cook slowly, uncovered, until the excess liquid has evaporated and the sauce is thick and puree-like (about 20-25 minutes). Season to taste with salt and black pepper and keep warm.
- Pour 4 1/2 quarts of water into a large pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Drop in the pasta, give it a quick stir, then let the water boil steadily until the pasta is al dente: tender but not soft right through. Bite a piece to check.
- Drain the pasta but leave some water clinging to it, and return it to the hot pan with the remaining olive oil and a good seasoning of salt and black pepper. Toss the pasta to coat it with the oil.
- Pour in the sauce and toss the pasta once more. Serve at once, with flakes of Parmesan if desired, and basil leaves to garnish.