Spicy Eggplant and Olive Sauce with Linquine and Toasted Slivered Almonds

Last summer I had so much eggplant growing in my garden that we seemed to have it grilled with every dinner every night of the week!

This summer, alas, my plants produced only ONE eggplant!

So I thought I had better make something special and indeed I did. Read on!

Ingredinets:

6-8 tablespoons olive oil
1 small (about 1 lb.) eggplant, trimmed, pared, and cut into ½ inch chunks
1 cup chopped onion
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped green olives
1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons rinsed and drained small capers
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh basil
2 tablespoon chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of sugar
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Directions:

Heat 4-6 tablespoons (I started with 4 and then added 2 more tablespoons) of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat; add the eggplant. Saute, stirring constantly, until eggplant is tender and browned, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet. Add onion, pepper and celery; sauté, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, olives, capers, basil, parsley, vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar. Cover and simmer 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently.Toss with linguine, saving 1 cup of sauce.
Serve on plates or bowls, adding 1/2 cup of sauce of top of each serving. Top with slivered almonds.

Based on recipes from 365 Ways to Cook Pasta and Recipes from a Kitchen Garden.