Packed with the flavors of summer, this sauce slow-cooks eggplant, bell peppers, and tomatoes together until the veggies break down and the flavors meld. Finish it with fresh basil and parsley for freshness. Try it over pasta, poached eggs, with garlic bread, or baked over polenta for a quick, satisfying gratin.
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Trim and cut the eggplant into medium dice. Place the eggplant in a colander in the sink. Generously salt the eggplant and toss to coat. Weight it down with a bowl (the bowl should be pressing on the diced eggplant without crushing it) and let drain for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the remaining vegetables: Core and seed the bell peppers, then cut into medium dice. Place in a large bowl. Cut the onion into medium dice and add to the large bowl. Finely chop the garlic cloves and add to the large bowl; set the bowl aside.
When the eggplant is ready, lightly blot with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Heat 6 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large straight-sided skillet or frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the eggplant in an even layer and let sit, undisturbed, until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant begins to brown, about 8 minutes more. Remove the eggplant to a medium bowl and set aside.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and heat until shimmering. Add the reserved bell peppers, onion, and garlic, and generously season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the reserved eggplant, tomatoes, vegetable broth or water, and oregano, and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened and the vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes.
Stir in the basil and parsley. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.