Sicilian Sauce with Eggplant and Tomatoes

My husband and I went to Italy on our honeymoon.  For two weeks we toured all around - Sicily, Sorrento, Rome & Venice.  Having kids is great... but this was the best two weeks of my life!  The food, the wine, the people, the history... so beautiful.  I am SO glad we did it then - because now with two kids I can't envision a time we will be able to go again... I am already worried about a car-ride to VA in September as E screams for even a 5 minute drive :)

During our time in Sicily - what we loved most about the food was the FRESH seafood and the fact that eggplant seemed to be in every sauce.  Growing up in a house that didn't embrace all that eggplant offers - it was new to me and soooo yummy!  With fresh eggplant available this time of year (not from my garden yet... but from the farmers' markets) I have been integrating it into everything!  This recipe turned out really well - and served over Lobster Ravioli - mmmmmm.

Here's the recipe:

2 small or one large eggplant (I used white)
1/4 cup of flour
sea salt
3 tbs of olive oil
3 tbs of butter
2 tbs of tomato paste
1 cup of white wine
1+ cup of water (use your judgement about how much to add)
1 cup of pasta water
2 cups of grape tomatoes cut in half
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
2 tbs of Italian seasoning (we have a mix from Italy... from our honeymoon)
1 cup of fresh basil
2 tsp of honey

Dice the eggplant (small) and coat it in flour and salt and pepper.

Fry it in the olive oil and butter (I split both and did it in two batches) - depends on the size of the pan you have :)  It's important to use a pan that some of the brown bits can stick to (a non-non-stick? pan).  It provides some yummy flavor for your sauce.

When your eggplant is browned remove it from the pan and add 2 tbs of tomato paste - fry it for a minute or two - it will stick to the pan - but that is good.  Then add the wine to de-glaze the pan - stir it all around to scrape up the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.  Add in a cup+ of water, the tomatoes and the eggplant back to the pan.  Add in spices, honey and half of the basil.

Let the sauce simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Taste frequently and season to taste.  Cook whatever pasta you would like to serve the sauce on.  UNDERCOOK the pasta.  Add a cup of the pasta water to your sauce and then the undercooked pasta.  Let it finish cooking in the sauce... it makes the sauce creamier and the pasta yummier!

Enjoy with Parmesan cheese and the remaining basil sprinkled on top of each serving. 

1/4 cup of the sauce is 2 WW points.  You probably won't even use that much - but it is SO worth it.


Kathy Shea Mormino said...

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Kathy Shea Mormino

The Chicken Chick

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