This is one of my favorites that mom has made for our family since before I was born. It is also famous because of the cartoon with the same name – about a rat chef.
1 large eggplant , about 300gr/10.5 oz.
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
4 zucchini, sliced
1 lb./800g of chopped tomatoes (canned or fresh…I prefer fresh)
1 tsp of sugar
salt and pepper
2 fresh thyme springs, 2 large fresh parsley springs, 1 fresh basil spring and 1 bay leaf. Tie them all in a 3 inch piece of celery.
fresh basil leaves to garnish
Chop the eggplant coarsely and if you don’t like the flavor of eggplant too much you can take out the bitterness by dropping it in boiling water with salt for about 3 min, or sprinkle with salt and let it sit for 30 min then rinse and pad dry. I love eggplant and don’t mind a little bitterness so I don’t do any of this.
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, add onions and let it cook until it softens and is golden brown.
Add the garlic and cook for another 2 min.
Add eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, sugar and all the herbs tied into the bouquet. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce and let it simmer covered for 30 min.
Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Remove and discard the bouquet. Garnish with basil leaves and serve immediately. I like to eat it with rice. When there are left overs I like to use it as hearty pasta sauce! Just add tomato sauce and/or heavy cream (not so healthy but delicious lol).