08 October 2011

Eggplant & Spinach Marinara

I had a conversation with my friend the other day.  It was about eggplants.  Aubergines, if you will.  One of her friends said she hated working with them because of the salting and draining.  I was all, "salting and draining, who does that?  I don't and I just made an eggplant spinach marinara sauce last night," and they were all, "Eggplant and spinach marinara?  Do tell!" and I was all, "Okay!"

This is how it went down:

Fry some chopped onions in olive oil.  Once the onions are starting to turn clear, add some chopped garlic and maybe some chili flakes or a dash of cayenne if that's your thing.  Fry everything for another minute or so and then add a chopped eggplant.  The eggplant bits will suck all the oil up like crazy, but don't add more, they will just suck that up, too, and you don't want to encourage them.  Add 1/2 tsp thyme, 1 or 2 bay leaves, and a ton of oregano -- I usually add at least 1 tbsp.  Add a tin of stewed tomatoes and some spinach (I usually use frozen and just chuck chunks of frozen spinach right on in).  You can add some cooked beans, too (garbanzo and haricot/navy beans are good choices), and maybe a glug of red wine.  Thicken everything up with a tbsp or so of tomato pasteSalt and pepper to taste.  Put the lid on and let it simmer for, say, 20 minutes. 

Remove the bay leaves* and stir in 1 tbsp of tahini a minute or two before serving -- you can't taste the tahini, but it makes the sauce really rich and creamy.
This is great on pasta, but I kind of like it on its own, too.  (Obviously, it's GF if you have it plain or on a lovely bed of rice.)

My 3 year old took this picture of the sauce.
*  When I was a kid, I found a bay leaf in my spaghetti once. 
   "What's this?" I asked. 
   "It means you win a prize," my aunt said. 
   "REALLY?!!" I asked. 
   "No," said my mom. 
    I remember that every time I forget to take the bay leaves out of my food!


  1. beautiful! I have tons of eggplants and spinach in my fridge. I will give this a try!

  2. I like eggplant with tomato - yum!