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.