What is your comfort food? Mine is a big bowl of pasta with my homemade red sauce. Today, though, I am taking my homemade sauce to a new level with a little help from Rachael Ray and an eggplant from my garden.
I learn so much from watching cooking shows and Rachael Ray is no exception. Everything she makes is quick and easy and a lot of times, it is almost vegan except for the pound of cheese she adds at the end. So, this is my simple take on her Pasta with Smoky Eggplant Sauce.
I saw this on her show in the middle of winter and I have been waiting to make it until eggplant season arrived. And as you can see from my last post, it has indeed arrived! But what I love about this recipe is that usually to make an eggplant tender and worthy of eating there is a lot of oil involved. However, in this recipe, you simply cut few slits across the top of the eggplant and bake it until it is tender. Kind of like making baba ganoush. But I never thought about it for sauce. This is why I love Rachael Ray!
- I used a small eggplant but use any size you have. You can always save extra sauce for another day.
- When you scoop out the flesh of the eggplant, it may be stringy so just run your knife through it or use a masher to break it up.
Pasta with Smoky Eggplant Sauce
A veganized Rachael Ray special, this is the perfect eggplant dish because it is made with just a touch of oil.
- 1 small eggplant
- 1/2 red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- A few shakes of cumin
- A shake of cinnamon
- Salt, a pinch
- 1 cup red sauce homemade or storebought
- 2 servings pasta of choice, something with curly edges is fun
- Olive oil, for sautéing
- Parsley, for garnish
Make a few slits in the eggplant and bake in a 400 oven until it totally collapses and is cooked through. Depending on the size of the eggplant and the heat of your oven, this could take up to 45 minutes. Take out and let cool a bit.
Get the pasta going.
Use a fork to scrape out the eggplant. Set aside.
To make the sauce base, small dice the onion and add to a pan with a little bit of olive oil. Sauté until soft. Press the garlic over the onions and cook until fragrant. Add the cumin and cinnamon and stir around. Add the sauce and cook together.
Drain the pasta, reserving some of the water to bring the sauce together. Add the eggplant, some pasta water and mix well. If you like the sauce thinner, add more water.
Add the pasta and toss to combine. Serve immediately. Enjoy!