This comes from Jamie Oliver as what he calls “Pasta alla Norma” but we’ve taken a few small turns with it. It has flavor, bite and takes advantage of a summer bounty that we have to keep finding new and interesting ways to utilize. So tasty and filling.
For 2-4 people you’ll need x1 large eggplant, x2 medium zucchinis, x2 Tbsp oregano (we used a combination of [chopped] fresh and some dried), 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, x4 garlic cloves (crushed and chopped), x3 or 4 fresh basil stems with leaves (stems finely cut and leaves roughly chopped), 1/2 Tbsp tarragon infused white wine vinegar (or any herb infused white vinegar), x4-6 chopped Roma tomatoes, 1/2 lb spaghetti, 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and grated parmesan cheese.
Cut the eggplant and zucchini into finger-sized pieces – this can be done but cutting lengthwise into halves, then quarters (the eighths for the eggplant) and then cutting those lengths in half.
Place a fair amount of olive oil into a large skillet so that there is enough oil to slosh around the bottom of the pan. Bring the oil to heat over a medium flame and add half of the eggplant and zucchini slices. Toss well to coat and allow to brown on all sides – using a pair of tongs to turn them. Once brown add half of the fresh and dried oregano and toss well. Set this batch aside on a plate and repeat the same process with the remaining eggplant and zucchini slices.
Return all of the browned eggplant and zucchini into the skillet and reduce heat to medium low. Add the chopped basil stalks, garlic, white wine vinegar, red pepper flakes and the chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss well and allow to simmer for 10-12 minutes.
Bring a large pot with salted water to a boil, add a healthy splash of lemon juice, and cook the spaghetti to al dente. *Use some of the water from this to loosen up the sauce in the skillet if it gets too dry as it simmers.
Drain the pasta and save a little of the water.
Add the pasta to the skillet with the sauce and toss well. If it feels to dry or stiff, add a little pasta water to loosen it up.
Transfer all of it to a large bowl.
Add the chopped fresh basil leaves and some grated parmesan and gently turn over to mix well.