Since we are experiencing an endless winter this year, I've had loads of time to create new pasta dishes. Like seriously, the snowfall is ridiculous and never ending - it started in December, it's mid April right now; and I still have a couple feet in my backyard (it's snowing rn). People are over it and are getting grouchy (or maybe that's just me!).
I met a dear friend at a local Italian market for a macchiato last week, and then we browsed through the shop. I found a very large jar of GiGi hot eggplant strips and ever since I made that ajvar sauce, I've been intrigued by the depth of flavour roasted eggplant brings to a dish. I knew these spicy eggplant strips would enhance so many different dishes, so I bought it.
Super easy to make with lots of shortcuts, this recipe has a wonderful depth of flavour that tastes like you fussed, but you didn't have to!! Once you saute the veg, the rest is easy using leftover (or your favourite store-bought) marinara sauce, a 5 minute garlicky cashew cream, and any type of pasta. This dish is spectactular.
I've got the rest of that big jar to use up, I'd love to hear what your favourite eggplant dish is. I'm thinking pizza next . . .
Did you make this recipe? I'd love to see it!
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Mushroom Eggplant Marinara Pasta
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- 1 tbsp oil
- ½ onion, diced
- 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½-2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- ½ cup spicy jarred eggplant strips
- 3 cups marinara sauce* (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 recipe 5 minute cashew cream*
- 2-4 servings fettuccine pasta
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese*
- basil, ribbons
- 1 tsp hot pepper flakes
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and garlic. Saute until soft and fragrant.
- Meanwhile, slice mushrooms and add to skillet. Saute the mushrooms on medium-high for 5 or 6 minutes until they start to turn golden. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pat excess oil from ½ cup of spicy marinated eggplant strips. Add to the mushroom mixture and continue to cook for 2 or 3 minutes.
- Transfer mushroom-eggplant mixture to blender* and pulse until pureed but there's still some texture. *or use an immersion blender if you have one.
- Pour the purée back into pan and add remaining marinara - let simmer on low. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.*If necessary, add a splash of reserved pasta water to get the proper consistency.
- While the sauce is simmering start the pasta water.
Cashew Cream Sauce + Garnishes
Putting It All Together
- Cook and drain pasta. Reserve ½ cup pasta water to thin marinara sauce if necessary.
- Divide the pasta into 4 bowls. Top with a generous ladle of marinara sauce, a swirl of cashew cream, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, a few basil ribbons and a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes.
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