Chunky Eggplant Sauce from washingtonpost.com


¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
One 12-ounce eggplant (unpeeled), cut into ¼ -inch by ¼ -inch by 3-inch strips
2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon salt, or more as needed
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced (see NOTE)
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano, or more as needed
12 basil leaves, torn
1 pound dried bucatini (or substitute penne rigate, rigatoni or orecchiette)

½ cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese, for serving

Heat the oil in a wide, deep-sided saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, 30 seconds, then add the eggplant, ½ teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Partially cover and cook for 25 minutes, stirring often, or until soft, allowing the liquid from the lid to drip into the eggplant if it seems dry.

Use a fork to crush the eggplant in the pan to a chunky consistency, then add the tomatoes and the teaspoon of fresh oregano. Increase the heat to medium; cook uncovered for 10 to 20 minutes, until the sauce is thick (the cooking time will depend on how juicy your tomatoes are). Stir in the basil and keep the sauce warm.

Meanwhile, bring 5 quarts of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the bucatini and the remaining 2 tablespoons of salt. Cook according to the package directions (al dente), about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.

Add the drained pasta to the sauce in the pan, and add just enough of the reserved pasta cooking water to create a sauce that coats the bucatini. Taste, and add more salt and/or pepper and oregano, as needed.

Serve hot, dusted with the cheese.

4 to 6 servings (makes about 1⅔ cups sauce, enough for 1 pound of pasta)

NOTE: To peel the tomatoes, use a sharp knife to score a large X on the bottom of each one. Drop into a bowl of just-boiled water and let sit for a few minutes, until you see the peel curling back from the edges of the X. Drain and let cool, then peel and discard the loosened skin.

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Spaghetti Puttanesca, seriouseats.com

  • 4 to 6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped (1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons; 20–30ml chopped anchovy)
  • Large pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained and chopped (about 2 ounces; 60g) (see note above)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted black olives (about 2 ounces; 60g) (see note above)
  • 1 cup (225g) whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, roughly broken up by hand (about half a 14 ounce can)
  • Small handful minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 ounce (30g) finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place spaghetti in a large skillet, sauté pan, or saucepan and cover with water. Add a small pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent pasta from sticking.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, combine 4 tablespoons (60ml) oil, garlic, anchovies, and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat until garlic is very lightly golden, about 5 minutes. (Adjust heat as necessary to keep it gently sizzling.) Add capers and olives and stir to combine.
  3. Add tomatoes, stir to combine, and bring to a bare simmer. Continue to simmer until pasta is cooked to just under al dente (about 1 minute less than the package recommends).

    4.  Using tongs, transfer pasta to sauce. Alternatively, drain pasta through a colander, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Add drained pasta to sauce.

    5.  Add a few tablespoons of pasta water to sauce and increase heat to bring pasta and sauce to a vigorous simmer. Cook, stirring and shaking the pan and adding more pasta water as necessary to keep sauce loose, until pasta is perfectly al dente, 1 to 2 minutes longer. (The pasta will cook more slowly in the sauce than it did in the water.) Stir in remaining olive oil, parsley, and cheese.

    6.  Season with salt and pepper. (Be generous with the pepper and scant with the salt—the dish will be plenty salty from the other ingredients.) If using, stir in canned tuna and break it up with a fork. Serve immediately with more grated cheese at the table.