1 eggplant, roasted
2 shallots, chopped fine
One small yellow onion, chopped small
Salt and pepper
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1-2 tsp. crushed red pepper (depending on your tolerance for spice)
1 tsp. cumin
A hint/wisp of cinnamon
1 tsp. Italian seasoning (or oregano)
3/4 cup red wine
1 28-oz. can San Marzano tomatoes (whole)
1/3 cup basil, chopped
Chopped parsley, for serving
Grated Parmesan, for serving
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place eggplant whole on a baking sheet (no cutting, chopping, peeling or dicing!). Using a pairing knife, cut a few slits (so it can breathe) and place directly into the oven. You can heat the oven up to 450 degrees, but there was so much smoke in my house, I had to lower it. Cook until charred on the outside and eggplant has collapsed (it took about an hour for me at 350 degrees). Let it sit and when cool to the touch, scrape the skin off with a pairing knife, roughly chop and save all juices. Keep set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Throw in onions and garlic, season with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, cumin, cinnamon and Italian seasoning and sauté until soft and fragrant. Deglaze the pan with red wine and bring to a boil. Cook for a few minutes, then add tomatoes. Bring back up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Pop the whole tomatoes with a wooden spoon (or any spoon that's convenient). Simmer at least an hour (although if you read this blog, you know I think the longer the better) - if you keep it on for longer than an hour, reduce heat and cover. When almost ready to serve, add chopped basil and eggplant (with all of its juices). While this continues to simmer, make the pasta.
Boil water. Once boiling, add salt and pasta. Cook for 1 minute less than the directions on the box say. Drain pasta, but reserve a couple cups of pasta water (just in case). Pour pasta into the sauce pan and mix well until all pasta is thoroughly coated in the delicious tomato and eggplant concoction. Add pasta water if necessary. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan and chopped parsley.