I‘ve been trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my diet for a couple of reasons: they are inexpensive and generally good-for-you. I certainly enjoy the occasional steak, but we consume so much meat, which really isn’t the best for us. And I happen to like vegetables too!
I am a pasta fanatic, and pasta makes an excellent base for a vegetarian entree. If I no longer cared about fitting into my clothes, I would consume mass quantities of it, but since I do, I try to moderate my consumption.
One way to help me feel good about slurping noodles is adding a ton of vegetables. This dish is easily adjusted to your favorite veggies. Regardless of whatever veggies you use, you won’t miss the meat—I promise! Unless you’re my dad, then you probably will miss it and wonder who put eggplant in your spaghetti. 😀
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Spicy Pasta with Eggplant and Mushrooms
Adapted from Plumpie Cooks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large eggplant
- 8 ounces spaghetti, cooked al dente
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts, drained
- 8 oz of fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 24 oz of your favorite spaghetti or marinara sauce
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel eggplant and cut into 1-inch thick slices, then dice into 1-inch cubes. Drizzle eggplant with one tablespoon of olive oil and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil and saute onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.
- Add red pepper and mushrooms and cook about 2 minutes or until slightly softened. Stir in roasted eggplant, artichokes, red pepper flakes and spaghetti or marinara sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Add pasta cooked al dente to marinara mixture (follow directions on box for cooking pasta and reserve 1 cup of pasta water) and stir to combine.
- Mix in 1 cup of shredded mozzarella. If pasta seems dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. Transfer pasta to a greased casserole dish and sprinkle 1 cup of shredded mozzarella over pasta.
- Bake until cheese is golden on top, approximately 15-20 minutes. Let pasta rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.