Eggplant with Marinara Sauce
Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 as a main dish
I love this eggplant recipe. It is based on a method of cooking I learned from Italian friends. The vegetables are braised in a small amount of well-seasoned tomatoes that form a sauce as they cook. It is quick, easy, healthy, and can be used as a side dish, or as a delicious vegetarian main dish served with rice, pasta or some other grain.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 large green or red pepper, or a combination, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium eggplant, coarsely chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano leaves, divided
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) whole tomatoes with juices, crushed with fingers
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, then the onions and peppers. Sauté until slightly softened. Add the garlic and sauté one more minute. Add the tomatoes and season with salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the oregano. Cook until the tomatoes break down slightly. Add the eggplant. Season with the remaining oregano and additional salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the eggplant is tender, 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the age and size of the eggplant. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.
Notes: When I serve this as a main dish, I sometimes add chopped cremini mushrooms, about 8 ounces, when I cook the eggplant. I also pass some freshly grated Parmesan cheese when serving.