Eggplant and Red Bell Pepper Sauce

1 1/2 pounds eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup olive oil
2 large red bell peppers (about 3/4 pounds) cut julienne
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/3 cup minced fresh flat parsley leaves

In a large colander sprinkle eggplant generously with salt and let it stand for 45 minutes. Rinse eggplant well and pat it dry with paper towels. In a kettle cook the garlic and onion in oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until onion is softened. Add eggplant, bell peppers, salt and black pepper to taste. Cook mixture over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes or until eggplant is tender.

In small bowl whisk together tomato paste and 2 1/2 cups water. Add mixture to kettle with oregano and basil and simmer mixture covered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Simmer sauce, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes or until it is thickened and stir in the parsley.

Makes about 5 cups, enough for 1 pound dried pasta, cooked, such as ziti.



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