Chewy eggplant is very unpleasant. If you've ever chomped down into any, I know you know what I mean. And cooked wrongly or in the wrong recipe, that wacky pasta from the organic aisle can also be chewy. And unpleasant. I recommend blending your eggplant and serving it over your wacky organic pasta. The textures compliment each other nicely. Dinner guests tend not to notice (or at least ask) if the pasta is made out of something that isn't pasta. And what's more? No one's chomping on any chewy eggplant. Success!
1 box of lentil & quinoa pasta (or whatever wacko box of pasta you have)
Red wine vinegar
Scallion tops (garnish)
Good grated cheese (I had Dubliner on hand) (also, a garnish)
Toast pecans in the pan over medium-high heat. Once fragrant, set them aside.
Heat oil in the pan and add chopped onion and garlic. Season, then cook till translucent.
Add chopped eggplant. I added it in 3 layers, seasoning each layer and then cooking until the eggplant was slightly reduced (room for another layer).
Spotlight on red wine vinegar. This is a great liquid component if the eggplant sticks to the pan. It helps deglaze the pan, while further softening the eggplant. Add little splashes, and stir. Don't overdo it.
Once the eggplant is softer and brown, add pecans and shredded basil.
Then blend the whole thing in a food processor.
I use this machine religiously. I worked in my kitchen for three months before I realized there wasn't a microwave, and yet I couldn't go one full week without a smart stick (and its attachments).
Add chopped tomatoes and capers to the blended eggplant.
Dress the pasta (which, along the way, you should boil as per the instructions on the box.)
Garnish with chopped scallion tops and grated cheese unless you are vegan. In that case, only scallions.