RECIPE

Roasted Pepper and Eggplant Marinara

This marvelous make-ahead marinara sauce is wonderfully flavored with roasted garlic, peppers and eggplant.

Ingredients

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 1 large Fresno chili pepper or Holland chili pepper
  • 1 large head garlic
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 1 medium-large firm eggplant
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for dressing garlic and brushing eggplant
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can Italian tomatoes (28 ounces)
  • 2 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 sprig fresh oregano, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 1 pound long fusilli pasta
  • Grated Pecorino cheese
  • A palmful of flat leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped

Preparation

Char the skins of the sweet and hot peppers to black under a broiler with the oven door slightly ajar, to prevent steam build-up, or place directly over a stovetop flame. Cover the charred peppers and cool, peel and seed. Reserve.

Pre-heat the oven to 425°F.

Cut the head of garlic to expose the cloves. Dress the garlic in EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Press the garlic into the chopped rosemary and coat the cut cloves. Wrap the garlic up in foil and roast for 40-45 minutes, until it is soft but still moist.

Halve the eggplant lengthwise and brush with EVOO. Season the eggplant with salt and pepper and place it cut-side down on a baking sheet and roast until very tender, 30-40 minutes. Cool the eggplant until it’s easy to handle, then scoop the flesh away from the skins. Add the eggplant to a food processor with the roasted garlic and roasted sweet and hot peppers, then puree.

In saucepan, heat the stock and tomatoes. If the tomatoes are whole, break them up. Stir in the eggplant-pepper mixture and add the basil, oregano, salt and pepper, to taste.

Simmer the sauce to combine the flavors, then cool and store for make-ahead meal.

Reheat over medium heat.

Boil the pasta in salted water to al dente. Toss the pasta with the sauce and serve with cheese and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

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