Polenta with Eggplant, Onion, and Tomatoes

10 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large eggplant (about 1 3/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tomatoes (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
For Polenta: 
6-1/2 cups water
3 teaspoons salt
1-1/3 cups coarse or medium cornmeal
2 tablespoons butter

FOR POLENTA: In a medium saucepan, bring 4-1/2 cups of the water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil. Add the cornmeal in a slow stream, whisking. Whisk in the butter. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the polenta is very thick, about 20 minutes. Cover to keep warm.

In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove. Heat 6 tablespoons of the oil in the same pan over moderately high heat. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the onion mixture, fresh and canned tomatoes, parsley, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Simmer until thick, about 10 minutes. Stir in the pepper.

Serves 4

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