I’m far from vegetarian, but sometimes I stumble into creating meatless dishes that are more satisfying than their parent recipes. And, at a savings of nearly 200 calories and over 100 calories from fat, I don’t know if I’m ever going back to ground beef-based sauce. With the tomato sauce from a couple of days before, pulling together this dish was super easy.
Note the use of farfalle (bowtie) pasta. Choosing the right shape of macaroni is all about how the sauce will adhere to the pasta and how it will behave on the fork. I chose farfalle because I wanted to cut the vegetables in large pieces and have everything near uniform in size. I prefer to return to using regular spaghetti when making this dish with ground meat.
- Cut 1 whole eggplant into 1 inch cubes, douse heavily with salt, and place in a colander over a bowl. After an hour’s time, rinse the eggplant well, squeeze to remove remaining moisture, and dry with paper towel.
- In a fair-sized pot, sautée a medium onion and ~4 garlic cloves in olive oil until onion becomes translucent. Add chopped green pepper and eggplant. Season with thyme, rosemary, oregano, and a little crushed red pepper. After a few minutes of cooking and stirring occasionally to encourage even browning, place the lid on the dish and cook for about 5 more minutes to let the eggplant soften.
- Uncover the eggplant and stir in 3 cups of marinara sauce. Cover and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes on reduced heat. Check on the sauce occasionally during that period to stir and adjust the seasonings to taste.
- When the eggplant is cooked through and seasoning levels are to your liking, remove sauce from heat and serve over cooked bowtie pasta.