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Roasted Eggplant Pasta Sauce

Time to write this recipe down before I forget it.

Eggplant Sausage Pasta Sauce
aka another great way to use up what comes from our farm shares

3 greek lamb sausages
cubed eggplant, one big mixing bowl’s worth (probably 2 regular sized eggplants)
3 small onions
3 cloves garlic
3 medium to large tomatoes, or a can of diced including juice
fresh basil and parsley
a few fennel seeds
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
a green or red bell pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 425.

Cube the eggplant in1 inch cubes and chop up one onion and the bell pepper if you have it. Toss them together with about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and some olive oil. Doesn’t have to be a lot, just enough to get everything damp. Then put the veggies onto a sheet pan already coated with spray canola. I’ve sometimes cheated and done this step by just spraying the pan and veg all at once without tossing it.

If it is too much for one sheet pan, use two, Veg must be in a flat layer, not all crammed in or they won’t roast well.

Roast for 15 minutes, then swap the pan positions in the oven (if using 2) and mix the stuff around a bit with a wooden spoon. Roast another 15 minutes.

While that’s doing, chop another 1-2 onions and sweat it in the bottom of a heavy pot 2 minutes with some olive oil and fennel seeds. Now add chopped basil, parsley, garlic, oregano, and other spices you like, and your chopped up sausages. The reason we use greek lamb sausage is that corwin doesn’t eat pork, or I’d use Italian sausages here. And we get these lamb sausages from our farm and they are yummy. The main difference between them and Italian sausage (besides being all lamb) is they don’t have fennel seeds, hence the fennel.

Cook the sausage & stuff in the bottom of the pot for 10-15 minutes. Chop up the tomatoes and add them and simmer another 10-15 minutes. If there’s not enough liquid, add either some water or chicken broth. The sausages make it pretty salty so I don’t usually add salt.

This stage right here, it’s a pretty tasty pasta topping as it is. The next step is if the roasted vegetables are done (edges nicely caramelized but not burnt), pour them into the pot, also, mix it all around, let it simmer another 10 minutes.

Last step, take your stick blender (aka immersion blender) on the lowest setting and immerse and blend in steps all around the pot until you have a nice meaty, eggplanty, tomato-ey puree. Serve on any pasta you like.

For the vegetarians out there, I am quite sure it would also be fine to leave out the sausage and just add some salt instead. it’d also be very good with some grated romano or pecorino cheese in it. (corwin doesn’t mix meat and dairy or I probably would have put some of that in, too).

The recipe serves anywhere from 4 to 8 depending really on how big your eggplants are. I’ve made this now with all kinds of varieties of it, white, purple, green, purple streaks, shaped like sausages, shaped like eggplants, shaped like eggs, shaped like pumpkins. All come out delicious!

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