Eggplant Tomato Sauce

1 eggplant, 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
2 1/2 cups coarsely diced zucchini
6 sprigs oregano
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
pinch cayenne

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly spray or wipe a baking sheet with vegetable oil.

Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Make two long lengthwise slits in each half, cutting to but not though the skin. Generously season the cut sides with salt and pepper. Place the eggplant, cut sides down, on the pan and bake for 20 minutes or until the skin has shriveled and the flesh is very tender.

When cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh into a saucepan. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat. Reduce partially, cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Serve over ziti or a similar pasta.

Serves 8.

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