Sunday, February 1, 2009

Spicy Eggplant and Red Pepper Pasta

This is a very tasty pasta dish that makes you feel good after you eat it! With all the heavy foods we have been eating lately, I wanted to make a hearty pasta dish that was still healthy. I have made this before and loved it and it certainly delivered the second time as well.

This sauce makes a LOT, and the eggplant and red pepper add even more to the mix. I always end up freezing at least half of this (without the pasta). You can leave this as a meatless meal, or an option that I like it to add some already-cooked slices of chicken sausage to the final simmer. Thanks again to the fabulous Katie for a sweet, spicy, and delicious meal!

Spicy Eggplant and Red Pepper Pasta
Makes about 6 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium eggplant (about 8-10 inches in length), chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
2 large red peppers, sliced into 1 1/2 - 2 inch pieces
1 pound penne (8 ounces if you are freezing half of the sauce)
One batch Spicy Red Pepper sauce, prepared ahead (recipe below)
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
Parmesan cheese shavings, if desired

In large stock pot with salted water, cook pasta according to manufacturers directions to just al dente.

In large non-stick pan (important with the eggplant) heat oil over medium high heat. Add eggplant and cook, stirring constantly, until beginning to become tender, about 10 minutes. Add red pepper and continue sauteing until peppers become crisp tender, about 3-5 minutes.

Add prepared pasta sauce and stir to combine, bringing to a slight simmer. Add pasta, stir to combine, add parsley and Parmesan cheese as garnish and serve immediately.

If you want to freeze half, divide right after you add the sauce to the eggplant/red pepper mixture:

Spicy Red Pepper Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 large red peppers, roasted (24-ounce jar of roasted red peppers)
1 large (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, lightly drained and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon crushed chili peppers
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Pulse roasted red peppers in food processor until relatively smooth and set aside.

In large stock pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add diced onion and cook until translucent and just beginning to brown. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add pureed red peppers and chopped tomatoes and heat until starting to bubble.

Turn heat to a simmer and add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Simmer until begins to bubble and serve.


Anonymous said...

Mmmmm!!! I love this pasta and I love that addition to cheese! It goes SO WELL with eggplant!!

The Blonde Duck said...

I love this! Yum! I adore foods that have a lot of flavor!

Donna-FFW said...

This caught my eye on Good Things Catered also. Thanks for reminding me. It looks fabulous.

What's Cookin Chicago said...

This looks delicious and I love the addition of eggplant!

Anonymous said...

I'd love it if you would come up with a recipe using Al Dente Red Chili Fettuccine. It is already spicy, so don't add extra spice to your sauce. It cooks in just 3 minutes and tastes just like fresh, homemade. if not available at your local store. Enjoy.