The Fusia/Fuscŕ Family  

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Spaghetti and Eggplant

For the eggplant:
2 medium eggplants
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1/2 lemon, juiced
6 fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the spaghetti:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 fresh red chili pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
3 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
Pinch sugar
1 tablespoon capers
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese

Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Slice the eggplants into 1/4-inch rounds. Toss them with 1/4 cup olive oil and some salt and pepper. Grill them until marks have formed and they are soft, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place them onto a paper towel lined platter. Scatter over 2 cloves of sliced garlic, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the lemon juice, put on a few torn basil leaves, and season it all with salt and pepper. Set aside while you make the sauce.

Coat a large sauté pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. Cook the onions until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chili, garlic, olives and a few hand-torn basil leaves. Carefully add the tomatoes and a pinch of sugar; cook and stir until the liquid is cooked down and the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes. Add the capers, taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Lower the heat, cover, and keep warm.

Boil the  spaghetti until it is al dente – 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and add the spaghetti to the tomato sauce. Pile onto a platter and top it with the eggplant slices. Garnish with more basil leaves and cheese.