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This is one of my fave's to eat over spagetti, rice or even alone. It's healthy and with such a rich flavour, it's one of those dishes you don't feel guilty about eating more and more of. I make 6 portions at a time and my portions are pretty generous so I can freeze some. It's also so easy to make as all you do is chop the veggies, then add them to the pan to cook. I've tried a few variations, such as frying the onions in some red wine, adding cheese or cream and changing the herbs depending on what I fancy and they all work pretty well too, so think of the recipe as a base and work out your own variation according to your preference. But, do not overdo the sundried tomatoes or else the sauce will be too rich! I love this hot with pasta, or cold as a salsa style dip.
- Chop into small pieces. Not too fine or too chunky.
- Add olive oil to a deep pan and heat.
- Add onions and cook until softening over a medium heat.
- Chop (or crush) garlic and add to onions to cook.
- Wash eggplants and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, including the skin and add to the onions and garlic, stirring to cover with oil.
- Wash pepper and cut into small strips and add to the mix.
- Clean mushrooms and add either chunky slices or quarters to the pan.
- Increase heat for a couple of minutes and stir continuously, mixing everything up together.
- Add the tinned tomatoes and the stock cubes. Bring to the boil before covering the pan and reducing the heat to low.
- Leave to cook, checking and stirring every now and again.
- After approx 30 mins, clean the sundried tomatoes (if necessary) and chop each half into 3 or 4 pieces before adding them to the mix.
- Add a pinch of salt, plenty of freshly ground black pepper and the basil.
- Mix it all up and continue cooking without the lid for another half hour or so until everything is soft and a dark red/purple colour.
- If the mix is not soft or is still quite liquidy, continue cooking.
- Add any more salt and pepper if necessary.