Eggplant and tomato penne bake

Eggplant and tomato penne bake

Mr. Pea and I took a little road trip yesterday but were still back in time to make dinner. And granola. I’d picked up an eggplant last weekend at the grocery store with the intention of making eggplant parm, but I’ve got a bit of a cold and lack the energy to make anything elaborate. So I made this simple bake instead. You begin with a sauce and then toss with cooked penne, which you then cover with cheese and pop into the oven.

For the sauce:
1 medium eggplant, chopped into 1″ pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
bit of water
pinch of basil
pinch of oregano
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1 28-oz can of tomatoes
1/4 c red wine

In a wide sauce pot, start by sauteeing the onion in 1 or 2 T of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes until translucent. Add garlic. Add eggplant, stir, and cover. It’ll likely want to stick, so adding some water and putting a lid on it helps the eggplant to release its own water and cook down. Add basil, oregano, salt and pepper. If eggplant sticks some, don’t worry. Add tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Use the juice of the tomatoes to work whatever’s stuck to the pot up. Add wine. This isn’t necessary but I had some old red on the counter in need of use. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, and let cook about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, cook your penne. Toss half sauce with penne. Place in a baking dish. I put about 1/3-1/2 c of cheese–combined provolone and mozzarella–on top. Bake at about 350 or so for 15 minutes until cheese is melty. Serve with extra sauce, if desired. I froze what was left.

While eating this we thought it’d be good with some white beans mixed in. That would help add protein, too!

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