A vegetarian version of this traditional meaty dish. It still packs a lot of flavor because the garlic and eggplants are roasted in the oven. And besides the red wine, I also added a bit of port. If you want to save time, you can also roast the garlic and eggplant the day before.
This recipe serves 3.
For the sauce:
1 head of garlic
2 eggplants (medium sized) cut into small cubes
1 red onion, chopped
3 tablespoons of olive oil
500gr of tomato pure
1 shot of port
1 cup of vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup of red wine
3 tablespoons of dried oregano
2 tablespoons of dried basil
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons of sugar
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
350grs of dried pasta, I used Armoniche pasta
Grated Grana Padano for serving
Fresh basil for decoration
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil.
Trim the top off the head of the garlic to expose the top of the garlic cloves. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top and wrap it in foil.
Place the chopped eggplants in the prepared tray with the garlic. Drizzle some olive oil over the eggplant and add some salt. Roast for 1 hour. Stir the eggplant half way.
Once the garlic is roasted, press it to push out the garlic cloves. Chop them.
Place 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Then add the roasted garlic, eggplants, port and red wine. Let it cook for about 3 minutes while stirring. Then add the tomato puree, stock, oregano, basil, bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir to mix it and let it cook for about 20 minutes until it becomes a sauce. Taste for salt and pepper, and remove the bay leaves.
Cook the pasta as instructed on the package. Then place the drained pasta in the pan with the sauce and mix it until well combined.
Serve with some grated Grana Padano and fresh basil leaves.