Photo Credit: The Make-Ahead Sauce Solution by Elizabeth Bailey
First domesticated in Asia, eggplant has been popular all over the world for centuries. It’s one of the best vegetables to substitute for meat to bring substance and texture to a sauce, as in this hearty ragu.
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Servings: 14 cups
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large or 2 small eggplant, diced
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 green bell peppers, finely chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- ¼ cup minced fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
- 2 (28-ounce) cans chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup tomato paste
- 3 cups water
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the eggplant, onions, bell peppers, celery, and salt, and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are very soft, about 15 minutes.
- Add the garlic, thyme, and rosemary, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, and water. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, for 30 minutes. Add black pepper to taste.
- Cool the sauce in the refrigerator, then freeze in a sealed freezer bag. The sauce will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- To serve, defrost the night before in the fridge. Then simply pour the sauce from the bag into a saucepan and warm over medium heat until it is hot throughout. Enjoy it on your choice of base.
- With pasta: (2 cups sauce per pound of pasta) Spoon sauce over fettuccine. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
- With baked potato: (1 cup sauce per potato) My Family’s Favorite: Spoon sauce over potato. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
- With chicken: (1 cup sauce per pound of chicken) Spoon sauce over sliced chicken. Serve with white rice.
- On sandwich: (half cup sauce per sandwich) Spread sauce evenly over horizontally sliced baguette. Top with sliced mozzarella cheese.
- With soup: (4 cups sauce and 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth per 4-serving pot) Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.
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