1 medium onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium to large eggplant, peeled and cut in 1" thick slices
1 medium red pepper, chopped
1 small zucchini, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red cooking wine or regular red wine (optional)
1 to 2 tablespoon Balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (or a mix of thyme, oregano, basil, etc.)
1/2 to 1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 to 1 tablespoon sugar or agave syrup
1/2 to 1 tablespoon sea salt, to taste
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 - 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
Some of the seasonings are approximate because they depend on each individual's taste. Start with the smaller amounts-it's obviously easier to add more seasonings if needed than taking too much seasoning out!
1) Place eggplant slices on some paper towels and sprinkle them with sea salt. Let sit ten minutes, then dab the tops with a dry paper towel to soak up all the bitter juices. Turn slices over and repeat process. After they have been "de-bittered", chop each slice into a small dice.
2) Put in a medium saucepan with the garlic, onion, red pepper, zucchini and olive oil. Saute on low heat about 5 minutes, mixing the vegetables a couple of times each minute. Now add the optional wine, Italian seasonings, salt, pepper, garlic powder and vinegar. Saute another ten minutes over medium heat, until vegetables are beginning to soften. Add crushed tomatoes and sugar and mix well.
3) Turn heat to high and cover, bringing sauce to a boil. Once the sauce is boiling, turn the heat as low as it can go and simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, uncover and scoop out a bit to taste. Let it cool for a second so you don't burn your mouth!!! Adjust seasonings if needed. Now add the fresh basil and simmer for at least another 10 minutes, but up to another 30 if time allows.
That's it-you can use it any time you would need a pasta sauce, pizza sauce, or any kind of sauce. And there's nothing that smells better than fresh spaghetti sauce cooking on the stove. This sauce gets better the longer it cooks, and as the leftovers sit in the fridge for a day or two-if it lasts that long. It also freezes well-you can even pour the sauce into ice cube trays and freeze it, for when you only need a little for dinner for 1 or 2 people.
Source of recipe: I wrote this recipe when I had extra eggplant I had to use up.