Eggplant gives this slow-cooked tomato sauce a hearty and meaty texture as well as a boost of nutrients. Serve the tomato sauce over whole wheat noodles and top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium eggplant, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
10 ounce mushrooms, chopped
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 pound whole-wheat penne
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
How to Make It
Mist a slow-cooker insert with cooking spray. Combine butter, onion, celery, carrot and garlic in slow cooker. Add eggplant, mushrooms and 1 tsp. salt. Stir in tomatoes, cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours. Stir once or twice during cooking.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook penne until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain pasta, toss with sauce, sprinkle with basil (and grated Parmesan, if desired) and serve.
I'm always looking for healthful recipes and this one is it. I made it as written with one exception. Unfortunately I didn't have the fresh mushrooms (drat). I substituted a zucchini in its place. And a nice surprise. It tasted great.
We loved this recipe! I got two meals out of it. First with pasta then with ravioli. The sauce froze well. Meatless, cook once eat twice and economical! Who could ask for more.? this recipe is a keeper!
Made this pretty much as is and found it to be just OK. No one in my family is running to eat the leftovers. Sure a pound of sausage would make it taste better but that's really not the recipe and then it's no longer light. I do think that slow cooking the eggplant and other veggies worked out well but the spices need some boosting. I will not make this recipe again as is....
I made a few additions to this recipe- 1 small can of tomato paste, 1 T italian seasoning and 1 lb of hot Italian sausage (cooked and drained). I skipped the pasta and baked it casserole style with spaghetti squash and mozzarella. My husband loved it, went back for seconds and even took the leftovers for lunch!
The sauce was not as smooth as I thought it might be, so I would recommend either using a food processor, blender or immersion blender to smooth it out before serving.
Nice that this cooks slowly in the crock pot-good to leave it for my husband and daughter to eat after I've done all the hard prep work. My daughter favorite food is spaghetti so she loved this and I loved that I was able to get some good veggies in her. I had diced canned tomatoes instead of the crushed so I added 4 cans of 14 oz diced tomatoes and used my potato smasher to semi crush them, and drained them. We like a lot of tomatoes in our sauce so the extra tomatoes made it nice and yummy. Since I added extra tomatoes I did add 2nd clove of garlic. A good meal for leftovers.
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