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Eggplant Spaghetti Sauce

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I have never been a fan of marinara sauce.  I want a thick, chunky, meaty spaghetti sauce, with textural variation that requires more than just slurping.  It was something that I really missed when I transitioned to a plant-based diet in recent years.  Then I remembered a spaghetti sauce that my mother used to make for us when meat was not on the menu for the night.  I always loved it.  It was thick, and chunky, and “meaty”, just like I wanted it to be…but in this case the “meat” was eggplant and mushrooms.  I hope you love it too!

Prep Time:  35 minutes

Cook Time:  1 hour

Serves:  6

Dietary Specifications:  Vegan, Gluten-Free

 

Ingredients:

¾ C Gustare Pesto Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1½ lb eggplant, peeled & cut into ½ inch cubes

1½ C onion, diced

6 large cloves garlic, pressed

8oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced ¼ inch thick

¼ C fresh parsley, finely chopped

28oz can chopped fire-roasted tomatoes

12oz tomato paste

¼ C fresh basil, finely chopped

2 Tbls fresh oregano, finely chopped

1 tsp agave (you may use sugar if desired)

¾ C full-bodied red wine

2 Tbls nutritional yeast (for non-dairy, vegan option) or grated parmesan

3 tsp  Cape Cod Sea Salt

1½ tsp freshly ground pepper

 

Directions:

Heat Gustare Pesto Olive Oil in wide-based stock pot over medium heat. The wider the base, the more surface area will be available to evenly and efficiently sauté the veggies.

  1. Once hot, add eggplant, onion, garlic, mushrooms, and parsley. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, approximately 10-15 minutes.  
  2. Add all remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.   Bring to a boil.  Then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, stirring 2-3 times throughout the process. 
  3. Top with your choice of cheese or crushed red pepper flakes if you like, and serve over pasta, spiralized zucchini (pictured) or even bean-based or shirataki noodles.

Note:  You may substitute dried herbs for the fresh by using half the amount that is called for in the recipe.  This will shave off some prep time or prevent an extra trip to the store in a pinch!