We may have a pasta eating problem in our house, you guys.
I have been making a TON of pasta lately!! It’s usually just the easiest option and something everyone will eat. Now, I have always prided myself on the fact that my kids (mostly) will eat anything and I don’t make special meals for them. The boys eat what we eat. End of story. That being said, they are three and a half and a year and a half. They don’t love fussy food and mac and cheese is, hands down, their favorite thing. Obviously. But a girl can only make so much mac and cheese, homemade or not. 😉 Enter easy weeknight pasta dishes! I could write a whole cookbook on them by now, I think. Maybe I just will one day!
This dish was inspired by some of my favorite flavors. I love roasted eggplant, Italian sausage, tomato sauce and cheese. Obviously cheese. We are still getting super yummy eggplant in our CSA box, so it still feels somewhat like summer over here in California.
This recipe is a great SIMPLE way to get your kiddos to eat more veggies and is a meal everyone will absolutely love.
Because the ingredients in this dish are so simple, they really all shine. I love the salty flavor and crumbly texture of ricotta salata cheese here. It’s very different than normal ricotta cheese and almost reminds me of cotija. You can find it at pretty much any supermarket with the specialty cheeses.
This is an easy dish that comes together fast for hungry people. You can even roast the eggplant ahead of time — that is usually what I do. It tastes the best right when it’s made, but I’d never turn down leftovers.
Are you also a weeknight pasta fanatic? Try this one next!
- 1 lb pasta I love bowtie pasta for this
- 1 whole eggplant cut into cubes
- 1 whole yellow onion sliced thin
- 3 links hot (or mild) italian sausage
- 2 cups tomato sauce storebought or homemade
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 ounces ricotta salata crumbled
- kosher salt
- 1 bunch fresh basil chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the eggplant cubes with olive oil and place on a parchment lined sheet tray. Roast for half a hour, until golden brown.
Cook the pasta according to package directions in boiling salted water. Drain and set aside.
Heat up a tbsp of olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add the onion and saute for about 6 minutes, until translucent.
Add the sausage and continue cooking until sausage has browned. Then, add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds longer, until fragrant.
Add the roasted eggplant and tomato sauce. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Toss in the cooked pasta and cheese. Toss in the basil at the end, taste again for seasoning and serve.