Meaty eggplant stands in nicely for traditional chicken in this tasty rendition of the perennial favorite.
1 large eggplant (1 to 1¼ pounds), peeled and cubed
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon dried basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 ounces linguine, cooked according to package directions until al dente drained
Sprinkle the eggplant with table salt and set in a colander to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse the eggplant under cold-running water and drain well between paper towels.
In a large saucepan or medium stockpot, heat half the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell peppers; cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add the sauce, oregano, thyme, basil, salt, and pepper; bring to a brisk simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, partially covered, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 5 minutes. Add the sauce mixture; let come to a brisk simmer. Reduce heat and simmer gently, uncovered, 10 minutes, or until eggplant is tender, stirring occasionally. Serve hot, over linguine.
Yield: 5-6 main dish servings; 8 pasta-course servings