Eggplant & Artichoke Gemelli Pasta

What’s great about pasta, is that the options are endless, and it’s usually a fairly quick meal to make. I love going into my fridge and seeing what I can come up with during the weekday using whatever I have on hand. This pasta in particular I made with eggplant, marinated artichokes, spinach, and some fire roasted crushed tomatoes. Quick, easy, and delicious!

Ingredients: (serves 1 hungry person)
2 small garlic cloves
1 14.5oz can roasted crushed tomatoes (or whatever you have on hand!)
2 large marinated artichokes, cut in half
1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 large handful fresh spinach
Pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese, for topping
Gemelli pasta

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the eggplant slices and artichokes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the eggplant is softened through. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, cut both the eggplant and artichokes into smaller chunks.

In a medium pan, sauté the garlic in olive oil and cook until softened – about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5-7 minutes then stir in the fresh spinach as well as the cooked eggplant and artichokes.

Cook the pasta per the box instructions, and reserve some of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss well to coat all the noodles. Cook for 1-2 minutes, adding splashes of the pasta water as needed to keep the sauce smooth. Plate and top with Parmesan cheese!

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Eggplant Rollatini With Kale

Roasted eggplant filled with cheese… what else do you even need in life! This recipe is so easy to make and absolutely delicious. It was the first time I made it and I will definitely be making it again! Totally worth turning my oven on in the hot weather yesterday…

Ingredients:
1 eggplant, cut into ¼ inch slices (the long way)
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus more for topping
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups chopped kale
½ cup chopped yellow onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
Good pinch red pepper flakes
2 cups tomato sauce (I used tomato basil)
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the sliced eggplant on a baking sheet (you may need two) and brush both sides with olive oil. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven and let cool.

While the eggplant is roasting/cooling make the filling. Saute the garlic, onion, kale, and red pepper flakes in some olive oil for about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. In a large bowl mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Add the kale mixture and stir together.

When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, add a good dollop of the ricotta mixture to one end, and gently roll up each eggplant piece. Pour enough tomato sauce onto the bottom of a baking dish to cover it, then add the rolled eggplants, fitting them closely together. Top with more tomato sauce and additional mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes. Try to not let the foil touch the cheese though otherwise when you remove the foil, it’ll take the cheese with it (as I unfortunately learned.) Remove foil and let bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is slightly golden.

Let cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy with maybe a side salad and/or crunchy bread!

Spicy Eggplant Pasta

The beginning of this week was much colder than I was mentally prepared for. It’s that awkward time of year where I’m not sure how to dress myself and am in complete denial that Summer is over. I’ve also avoided turning my heat on, as that means I am accepting Winter is on its way and that my bills are about to get higher. Well this week despite the cold weather, I refused to give in! I wrapped myself in a big blanket and made this spicy eggplant pasta to warm up. This recipe was also great because it took all of 15 minutes to make and was super delicious. A perfect weekday meal!

Ingredients: (serves 2)
1/2 box thin spaghetti
1 small eggplant, cubed
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 small shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Saute the garlic and shallot in some olive oil until softened. Add the bell pepper, eggplant, and a touch more olive oil. Cook for about 5 minutes. Pour in the diced tomatoes, followed by the pepper flakes, paprika, and sherry vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste, then cook for another 5 minutes over medium heat. In the meantime boil your pasta per the box instructions. When the pasta is ready, strain and add to the tomato mixture, coating all the pasta with the sauce. Plate and serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese!

Eggplant and Mushroom Meatballs

I had a huge eggplant on hand and decided to give these “meatballs” a shot. They were so easy to make and delicious! I love regular meatballs, with actual meat, but these were really flavorful and had a nice texture to them as well. So whether you’re a meat lover or a veggie lover, you’ll like these! I ate mine on their own with a little sauce, but they would be great with pasta, over some polenta, or with some melted cheese on a sub!

Ingredients:
1 large eggplant, peeled and chopped
5 baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 shallot, chopped
1 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil, about 5 large leaves finely chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, roughly chopped
1 large egg
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and chop the eggplant and add it to a large skillet over medium heat with about 3 tablespoons olive oil. Cook until the eggplant becomes soft, adding more olive oil and a little splash of water at times if it becomes too dry. Remove from heat and set aside in a large mixing bowl. Next add the shallot and cook until translucent, followed by the mushrooms until soft and cooked down.

Smash the eggplant with a wooden spoon a little to break down the pieces. Add the mushrooms, shallots, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, fennel seeds, basil and egg. Mix well with your hands until fully incorporated. Roll two inch balls of the mixture and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, flipping half way through, until golden brown. Serve with sauce and more grated cheese!