Thursday, February 21, 2013

Baked Tomato-Eggplant Penne

Hey, guess what I did today while BOTH girls napped at the SAME TIME?  Made a new Pinterest board.  Ya know, 'cause 81 was such a random number.  I needed 82 to even things out.  I see a 12-step program in my future.

Anyway, enough about my addictions, I did it for you.  Yes, you.  My ten loyal readers.  Hahahahahaha.

So, clearly I pin a lot of recipes.  And clearly I post a lot of recipes.  And yes, I have a board of all the recipes I've ever postedBUT, I didn't have a board of all the PINTEREST recipes I've ever made.  But now I do.  You're welcome.  Click me for Pinterest food nirvana

Seriously though, anytime I've tried out a Pinterest recipe, I've gone back and made a note in the comments.  But unless you're scouring my boards on a regular basis, you're never gonna see those comments.  So nowwwww, you can go to the new board and see if I've made something you've been eyeballin'.  Yep, it's genius.  And although I say it's for you, it's really for me.  'Cause I can't even remember what I cooked last week, let alone last year.

Which leads me to the half an eggplant in my crisper drawer.  Gotta love a good segue. 

When I was planning our most recent menu, I dug through the fridge like I normally do.  When I found the eggplant remains, pasta was the first place my brain went. (Seriously, why can I not remember where the other half went?!?)

So here's my recipe (and a very good example of why I'll never be a cookbook writer):

Baked Tomato-Eggplant Penne
Printable Recipe

1/2 an eggplant, cut into chunks (it's okay if you want to use a whole one, I promise)
2 14-oz cans of diced tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes or stewed tomatoes or tomato sauce or a mix of whatever you've got)
Tomato paste (use up that can you've got stuck in the back of the fridge - or use the tube like I did)
1/2 C red wine (if you don't have red wine, we can't be friends anymore - just kidding (sort of), just leave it out)
1 tsp dried oregano (or basil, or Italian seasoning)
1 cinnamon stick (this is personal preference - leave it out if you think it's weird)
1/2 C diced onion (I had red, but any color works)
Minced garlic (I used 5 cloves - I'll leave it up to your tastebuds)
1 pound of short pasta (I used penne rigate because I had it - any noodles are A-OK - also, I used whole wheat, which typically comes in a 13.5-oz package - such a rip off)
Grated Parmesan
Grated Mozzarella (I didn't have any, but if I did, I totally would have used it)

Dump all your sauce ingredients (do not include the noodles or cheese) in a saucepan big enough to hold them.

Crank the heat high enough to get it to a simmer.  Put a lid on it and simmer it for as along as possible.  At least an hour.  If you don't have time to stand over the stove, put everything in the crockpot before you head out the door.  Cook it on high for 5 to 7 hours.  Or on low for whatever the crockpot button says.  (You're loving my directions already, aren't you?)

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

At this point, you could serve it as is, with some cheese sprinkled on top.

If you'd like to continue on with the oven directions, put some of your sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish.  Dump some noodles on top.  Sprinkle them with cheese.  Add more sauce.  More noodles.  More cheese.  Rinse.  Repeat.  Do that until you're out of everything.  Make sure you finish with sauce and cheese.  You don't want crunchy noodles.  Or maybe you do.  I'm not here to judge.

If you're not ready to eat, cover it up and stick it in the fridge.  If you are ready to eat, cover it and stick it in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes, or until everyone is hot and bubbly.  If you like brown cheese, and who doesn't, take the foil off and stick it back in for another five minutes or so.

Here's everything comin' together at my house:

We ate ours with salad and bread.
Here's dinner on my plate:

As you can see, I added more cheese once it was on my plate.
Ya know, 'cause my feelings were hurt from the lack of mozzarella.
I feel like I just let all my crazies out.
And now, I shall lay on the couch and watch Idol.
And eat Girl Scout Thin Mints.


  1. !this looks and sounds soooo wonderful going to pin and save for when eggplant is local again aka way to long from now yum !

  2. Oh and by the way my husband and I finished off half a box of those tonight..ha!

  3. Lol, you crack me up :) Genius! I love pinterest boards, and I'm gonna visit your new one! I like recipes that I know will work and be delicious. And anything out of your kitchen is both.

  4. Mindy, why can't you be my next door neighbor? I'm sure we could work something out where I'd do your laundry and you'd feed my family...

  5. I wish I could eat eggplant!!!! Did you watch American Idol? I am glad that they got rid of that one goofy guy/girl! LOL I don't think he was quite clean cut enough to be an American Idol- xo Diana


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