Eggplant Penne with Kale, Mushrooms & Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce

 

Drumroll please for this week’s dish…. Eggplant Penne with Kale, Mushrooms, and a (spicy) Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce! Although I am not a huge pasta fan (sue me, I would rather eat zoodles or steamed veggies), this dish, made completely from scratch, was a fun challenge for me – and it turned out pretty amazing!

I have never cooked eggplant at home, and when it came in my weekly Imperfect Produce box, I was a little stumped on what I should make with it.  I figured I could either go an Indian or Italian route, and I chose the latter since my sister was in town visiting. I knew she would enjoy a nice, home-cooked Italian-style dinner.

Along with the eggplant came a few roma tomatoes, red peppers, and a bunch of kale. This combination of produce inspired me to make a roasted red pepper and tomato sauce from scratch. I have never roasted tomatoes and peppers for a sauce before, but I figured if I cooked them at a low temp for a longer time with a blast from the broiler at the end, they would turn out perfect… and they did!

If you are like me and are always looking for pasta sauces without any added sugars, you know they can be hard to find (and not to mention a little pricey). This is the best way to know exactly what is in your sauce without breaking the bank. I simply roasted the two veggies and tossed them in a food processor with a little ghee (any oil and/or water would work) with spices and viola, a homemade red sauce!

For the eggplant, I simply sauteed it in ghee with the kale and mushrooms. Since I sliced it into fairly small pieces, it only took a few minutes on medium high heat to cook thoroughly. I could see it being just as tasty if it were roasted in the oven, as well.

Print Recipe
Eggplant Penne with Kale, Mushrooms & Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Harvest, Healthy, Spicy
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce
  • 5 Roma Tomatoes
  • 2 Red Peppers
  • 1 tsp Ghee
  • Garlic Salt to taste
  • Red Pepper Flakes optional to make spicy
  • Oregano
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Toppings
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1 head Kale
  • 1 cup Mushrooms frozen or raw
  • 2 links Chicken Sausage
  • Garlic Salt to taste
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Base
  • 1 bag Penne
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Harvest, Healthy, Spicy
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce
  • 5 Roma Tomatoes
  • 2 Red Peppers
  • 1 tsp Ghee
  • Garlic Salt to taste
  • Red Pepper Flakes optional to make spicy
  • Oregano
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Toppings
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1 head Kale
  • 1 cup Mushrooms frozen or raw
  • 2 links Chicken Sausage
  • Garlic Salt to taste
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Base
  • 1 bag Penne
Instructions
Sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice tomatoes and red peppers into fourths and place on a lined baking sheet. Season with garlic salt, red pepper flakes, s & p. Slow roast for 20 minutes and broil for an additional 7-10 minutes.
  2. Once crispy, remove tomatoes and red peppers from oven and transfer to a food processor. Process on high with additional seasoning and ghee or oils of your choice. Optional: peel tomato and pepper skins when taken out of oven. I kept them on to prevent food waste and keep the good fiber found in veggie skins!
Toppings & Base
  1. Boil water and season with salt to cook the penne. On a high boil, penne should be perfectly al dente in about 8 minutes depending on pasta brand.
  2. On a hot pan, saute mushrooms, kale, and eggplant in ghee or oil of your choice. Season with garlic salt, s & p. Stirring constantly until mushrooms release liquid, kale starts to wilt, and the eggplant has shrunk about half in size.
  3. Transfer veggies to a separate bowl to brown chicken sausage.
Plating
  1. Top the pasta with kale, mushrooms, eggplant and the roasted red pepper tomato sauce and enjoy! Additional toppings to up the deliciousness: freshly grated parmesan cheese and basil!
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