Pasta with Rich Tomato and Grilled Aubergine (Eggplant) Sauce

Pasta with aubergine sauceIf you have any love of aubergines (eggplant) at all, do try this. My husband loves aubergines, but the taste is easily lost in strong flavors. This tomato sauce is fairly simple, but it is pretty assertive. To help the aubergine hold its own in the sauce, I use plenty of it, and stir it into the tomatoes at the last minute before serving, so that the flavors remain distinct.

Serve hot with a light, chilled, Lambrusco.

Serves 4-6 with 12-16 oz GF pasta

1 large aubergine/eggplant
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1 (28 oz) tin of diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 basil leaves
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes cured in oil, drained and chopped
2 tsp sugar (optional, for acidic tomatoes)
1 cup black olives, stoned and cut in half

Cut the aubergine into 1/4″ thick rounds, and cut any of those rounds which are too big for one mouthful into 1/2 or 1/4s.

Spread the slices out in a single layer on a couple of baking sheets.

Pour 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil into a cup, and use a pastry brush to brush the top side of the aubergine slices. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt.

Grill for a couple of minutes under a high heat for about 2-3 minutes or until the slices are turning slightly brown.

Turn the slices over, and repeat.

Pour 1 tbsp olive oil into a large saucepan, and gently fry the onion until translucent.

Aubergine and tomato sauceAdd the garlic to the onion, then the tinned and sun-dried tomatoes, and the olives. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced and the tomato chunks have broken down.

Check seasoning, and add sugar if necessary.

Add the basil and aubergine, and warm through for 2 minutes. Serve with pasta and a chilled red Lambrusco.

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