About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Mushroom Sauce with Ham and Tomato | Main | Eggplant and Ricotta Sauce ~Sicilian Style »

Eggplant Sauce with Tomato and Red Chili Pepper


This week, my recipe was Eggplant Sauce with Tomato and Red Chili Pepper. When I looked through the recipe, the first thing I noticed is that you fry the eggplant. I rarely fry anything, so I can't say I was too excited about this step.

The recipe referred me to another recipe in the book that explains the proper way to prepare and fry eggplant. There are two important steps worth noting: 1.To salt the sliced eggplant and let it drain, taking away any bitterness that the eggplant might have and 2. To have the oil very hot, so that the eggplant doesn't absorb any more of the oil than needed. This method produced a very flavorful eggplant that I'm sure you wouldn't get from sauteing. The flavor could be described as smokey.

There are not a lot of ingredients in the sauce-eggplant, olive oil, garlic, parsley, tomatoes, and chili pepper. But the flavor you get from these few ingredients is really a surprise. My husband thought there had to be anchovies or some other mysterious ingredient that added to the complexity of the sauce. I think it was the fried eggplant that added the special flavor.

Marcella suggested this pasta sauce be served on spahettini pasta, a thin dried pasta. That's what I used, and it was perfect.

Comments (7)

Cindy, This looks great.
I've never been a big eggplant fan. But I'm sure it is because I've never prepared it properly. I'm looking forward to trying this recipe, since I don't think I have a single eggplant recipe in my entire 62 week list.

Deborah-I think you'd really like this recipe. I like eggplant, but don't cook it often. This recipe was very delicious. Cindy


Hi Cindy,

Two comments:

1. I have a recipe on tap that calls for red chili pepper - was going to make it last week, but unable to get red chili peppers locally - won't be around for about a month - so I'll do it then. BUT I have also planted some red chili pepper plants in my garden. I should have LOTS in a couple of months.

2. I started quite a discussion on Slow Travel a couple of years ago with a recipe for Melanzane alla Parmigiana. The discussion evolved/degenerated into The Great Melanzane War (ask Jerry). One take-away for me was that I no longer salt the eggplant slices, if I pick them from my garden.

I'll try this dish when I can go out to the garden & pick my own chili peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, parsley and garlic.

Doug-I envy your big garden. I do plant a garden, but with our short summers and not too hot temperatures, there's a lot I unfortunately cannot grow, and peppers are tomatoes are two of them. Cindy

Cindy, that looks delicious!

Susie=This one was really good. If you haven't tried it, you should. Cindy


my mouth is watering. amazing. Good thing I weighed in yesterday because I think I gained a pound looking at your photo. Praise be! no one at work caught me licking the monitor, :D

Seriously, fabulous!!


you're all doing such a spectacular job!!

Mindy-You are so funny. I can just picture you licking the monitor! Cindy


LOL. I fondly remember The Great Eggplant War. *rolls eyes*
This looks delicious, Cindy.

Amy-I'll have to hear the Great Eggplant War story sometime. Cindy

Marcella Hazan:

My mother, who died at 101 & 4 months, lived the better part of her life through to the end in Cesenatico, my native town. I tried to drive down from Venice to see her as often as I could, and she would come to the terrace that overlooked the street through which we would drive up at least an hour in advance of our coming. We'd always arrive at lunch time and invariably she would have made breaded veal cutlets topped with gratineed tomatoes and ... fried eggplant!

Marcella-It is such a pleasure working my way through your cookbook, and it is even more special when you tell stories such as this. I know every time I eat fried eggplant, I will now think about your mother out on the terrace watching for you to drive up the street. Thank you so much for sharing memories like this with us. Cindy

I too am not much of an eggplant fan, but this recipe sounds really good. We are planting three types of eggplant, so I will have lots of opportunity later this summer!

Nancy-definately give this one a try. I think you'll really like it. Cindy

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 27, 2010 8:01 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Mushroom Sauce with Ham and Tomato.

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