pinchcrushed red pepper flakes(more or less, depending on your tolerance for heat)
1(28 oz)can crushed red tomatoes
zest of one lemon(optional)
2Tbspbrine-packed capers, drained
For Serving (Optional)
grated ricotta Salata or Parmesan cheese
fresh mint or basil leaves
Roast the Veggies
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On the baking sheet, spread out eggplant cubes and peppers. Toss with 3 tablespoons oil and a strong pinch of salt. Roast twenty minutes
Add the chopped zucchini and mushrooms to the baking sheet, drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and a small pinch of salt. Give everything a quick mix with your spatula.
Roast 15-20 minutes more until the veggies are very soft and the eggplant is golden brown
Cook the Pasta
Meanwhile, cook pasta in well-salted boiling water until al dente. Drain.
Make the Pasta Sauce
In a saucepan, combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, and garlic. Stir while you heat the saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute 30-45 seconds or until everything is fragrant (be extra diligent because you don't want the garlic to burn)
Stir in the tomatoes and heat to a gentle simmer, this takes just a couple minutes.
Remove from heat and taste. If the sauce needs more salt to add it now. Stir in the lemon zest (if using)
Combine and Serve
Add the veggies and capers to the pan with tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. How long it simmers is really up to you. It could be ready now, or I let mine go for thirty minutes or more on a slow simmer, stirring occasionally
Serve over pasta with sprinkles of cheese and herbs