Caponata – A Simple Tomato Pasta with Eggplant
- 1 large eggplant OR I used 3 – 7″ long eggplants from my garden
- 3 tbsp. good olive oil
- 3 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves of garlic (I used 3)
- 1 – 28 oz. tin of canned diced tomatoes (or the equivalent 3-1/2 cups of fresh tomatoes, skinned, cored and diced)
- 3 tbsp. dried rubbed oregano
- 1 tbsp. dried rubbed basil kosher
- salt and ground pepper to taste
- 11 oz. of boiled broad egg noodles – I used penne pasta that night – any pasta will be fine
- Parmesan cheese grated for garnish when serving
METHOD: -Rinse the eggplants. Then, leaving the beautiful purple skin on, just slice into 1/2″ cubes. I first sliced my eggplant into 1/2″ slices, then cut accordingly into cubes or quarters. -Saute the eggplant in a deep frying pan with the 3 tbsp. of olive oil. Cook them for 15 minutes, stirring often. -Add the brown sugar and red wine vinegar. Stir to combine. -Peel and thinly slice the fresh garlic and add them into the eggplant mixture. Cook for only 1 minute, so you won’t burn the garlic. -Pour in a 28 oz. tin of canned diced tomatoes. Stir to combine. Swish a little water in the tin can to get out all of the tomatoes. No wasting with our Jamie. -Bring this mixture to a boil, and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Add the oregano, basil. salt and pepper now. Allow the sauce to simmer for 15 minutes longer. -Meanwhile, cook your choice of pasta in a large potful of boiling salted water. Jamie used broad egg noodles, I used penne pasta. -Once the pasta is cooked to your taste, drain but reserve a cup or so of the pasta water. The pasta water can be used to thin out and loosen the tomato sauce if it is too thick. -You can serve the sauce mixed in with the cooked pasta or over top. Either way is good. -Grate some good Parmesan cheese over top as you serve this. ENJOY!
NOTE: Just a little tip from me: If you have some leftover cooked pasta, any shape, place it in a good ziploc bag along with some of the pasta cooking water. Then freeze this. It will be ready, once thawed to use in another dish requiring pasta. The pasta water keeps the pasta nice and tender and can be used to help thin out a thick sauce when serving. I don’t waste either.