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Pomodori e Melanzane | Italian recipe for eggplant in tomato sauce

Pomodori e Melanzane is a rustic Italian dish with tomatoes and eggplant. It also makes a chunky sauce for Pasta Alla Melanzane. 
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course soups stews
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 eggplant medium sized globe
  • 2 tbsps olive oil divided
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 small orange bell pepper diced (you can use yellow too)
  • 5 medium tomatoes blanched and peeled
  • 2 tsp mixed dried herbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper Freshly ground
  • handful fresh basil
  • 1 tsp capers for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

  • To prepare Pomodori e Melanzane, start with filling a big bowl of water, add to that 1 tsp of salt and keep aside.
  • Cut off the stem end of the eggplant. Cut into thick slices and uniformly dice each slice to get 1 cm cubes.
  • Immediately immerse in salted water.Roughly chop the blanched tomatoes and keep aside.
  • In a heavy bottomed wok, heat 1 tbsp olive oil.. Crush the garlic cloves with the back of a knife. Add to oil. Don't brown this, within the next few seconds, add the bell pepper and saute over medium flame for 5 minutes.
  • To this add the dried herbs, salt and chopped blanched tomatoes. Bring this to a simmer.
  • Meanwhile, remove eggplant from water, squeeze thoroughly and add to a large bowl. Toss in 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • Preparing fried eggplant in airfryer : Preheat airfryer to 180°C and place the oil tossed eggplant in the wire basket. Set the basket in the slot and dial the timer to 15 minutes. At the end of this, eggplant should be well cooked and golden.
  • Add these golden eggplant cubes to the simmering tomato sauce. Check for salt, season with some ground black pepper and remove into a bowl or add to cooked pasta.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Notes

Oven method:.
If you don't have an airfryer, preheat oven to 190°C (convection mode). Line a tray with heavy duty aluminum foil. Place the oil tossed eggplant cubes in a single layer, place in the center rack and bake for around 25 minutes or until eggplant is golden and soft. Proceed with recipe.
Stove top method:.
If you don't have an oven, take 1 inch of olive oil in a fry pan, fry the eggplant cubes on medium flame until soft and drain well on kitchen paper.