“Dinner is served! Saute some eggplant, toss it with some homemade tomato sauce, and you’ve got a winner the whole family will love. This is a quick easy recipe to add to your repertoire.” – The Blender Girl, Tess Masters
1 cup (240ml) Massel vegetable or chicken-flavored broth
1 (28-ounce/794g) can diced tomatoes with their juices
1/4 cup (22g) chopped sun-dried tomatoes (soft or packed in oil and patted dry)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup (25g) firmly packed finely chopped basil leaves
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1 (1 lb/454g) pack gluten-free penne or regular whole-wheat pasta tubes
In a large bowl, toss 2 tablespoons of the salt through the cubed eggplant, and allow the eggplant to sweat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Rinse the eggplant thoroughly, and drain in a colander. Pat the eggplant dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. While the eggplant is sweating, make the pasta sauce:
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil, and sauté the onion, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.
Add the broth, canned tomatoes and their juices, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, red pepper flakes, ground pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring periodically, until thickened. Allow the sauce to cool slightly, and stir in the maple syrup.
Transfer the mixture to the blender, and puree at medium speed for about 10 seconds, so the sauce is still rustic and somewhat chunky. Set aside in the blender, wash the saucepan, and return to the stove to cook the eggplant.
In another large pot, cook the pasta. Bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Drain, and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, place the saucepan you made the tomato sauce in back on the stove, and over medium-high heat warm the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil, and sauté the eggplant for about 10 minutes until soft and tender. Add the blended tomato sauce, pasta, and stir for a few minutes to allow the flavors to mesh. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.