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.