Chef John Folse's Eggplant in Marinara Sauce

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Yields: 1 Quart

The addition of crispy fried eggplant to my all-time favorite marinara sauce created by Guy DiSalvo is pure heaven! Since this recipe calls for leaving the skins on the eggplant you can play around with the variety of colorful eggplants available in today's marketplace–try experimenting with black, purple, red, white and even green.

1 medium eggplant, cubed
1 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
24 Roma tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1 cup chicken stock
12 large basil leaves, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste
pasta cooked to package specifications
Parmesan cheese to taste

In a large sauté pan, heat I cup of olive to almost smoking. Sauté crushed garlic until light brown on edges. Remove garlic and set aside. Using the same pan, sauté eggplant in two batches over high heat until medium-dark brown on the outside, about five minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. To the olive oil remaining in the pan, add tomatoes and blend well. Bring to a low simmer, stirring in chicken stock to retain moisture as needed. Cook 5–7 minutes then stir in basil and reserved garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook 5–10 minutes, adding stock as needed. Blend in eggplant and remove from heat. Cook and drain pasta. Toss with a small amount of olive oil. Blend 1–2 serving spoons of fresh marinara into pasta along with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Once pasta is coated, place in center of a serving platter and top with more simmering marinara.