Every now and then I try a new recipe that is so amazing I just have to share it with everyone I know. The other week I was flipping through the latest issue of Parents magazine and spotted this recipe for End of Summer Pasta. Always on the lookout for new uses for the eggplants and other veggies that we get flooded with each Wednesday from our CSA, I was excited to find a totally new way of cooking eggplant that I’d never tried!
Cooking this pasta sauce is pretty easy and it smells amazing and fresh while it simmers in the pan. I love knowing how many awesome servings of veggies are in the dish – and our fresh CSA veggies probably bring this dish to a whole new level. It’s sort of reminiscent of a ratatouille (did you know that touiller in French means simply to toss food?) except you skip the baking process altogether.
This dish excels in its simplicity and versatility. Substitute veggies you don’t have for veggies you do – add in more veggies and seasonings to create a whole new flavor. Last night I added some onions, summer squash and zucchini to the dish and it was fantastic. This afternoon I mixed some leftover sauce into a bowl of Ramen noodles and that was good, too!
You can click over to Parents Magazine for their copy of the recipe or check out my variation below:
End of Summer Pasta
(adapted from a Parents Magazine recipe)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium eggplants, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch chunks
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch chunks (optional)
- 1 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch chunks (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 8 oz. spaghetti or other dried pasta
- 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 to 2 cloves of thinly sliced garlic
- spices like basil, parsley or oregano (optional)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the eggplant, zucchini and summer squash, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and stir occasionally until it’s browned and tender, about 15 minutes.
- Add pasta to boiling water and prepare as directed. While its cooking, add the tomatoes, garlic and desired spices to the eggplant mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is nicely softened (tomatoes will get nice and squishy), about 10 more minutes.
- When the pasta is done, drain and toss with the eggplant sauce and Parmesan. Enjoy!
The result is a dish that I’ll be honest – tastes a lot better than it looks. Younger kids are likely to turn their nose up to this one – so I opted to not offer any to my picky brood and instead sliced some fresh tomatoes and threw them on top instead of the sauce for the kids. Next time I might try throwing in some other raw veggies and then gradually work my way up to serving them the real dish. Sneaky momma!
If you are on the hunt for a new way to use up your summer veggies, definitely give this one a try! I feel like this recipe has opened my eyes to a whole new level of cooking that I’d been unaware of and I’m having a blast coming up with variations and new ways to use up our veggies.
My next adventure in cooking with summer veggies? Don’t these chocolate chip zucchini oatmeal cookies look delicious?A friend of mine just posted about these on Facebook and I’ve mentally drooling over them ever since!
If you try this recipe – definitely let me know how you like it and any variations you come up with! I’d love to hear more about what you’ve been cooking up in the comments section below!