I myself am not vegan by any means, but as mentioned on the front page, I love trying out new stuff, and tweaking recipes to my specific tastes. And sometimes, a lighter meal just tastes better from time to time. This one in particular looked delicious to me, and so it made it into my folder of ones to try on a whim. I’ve always been a fan of pasta dishes, and the taste and color of tomato sauce is always a draw for me.
This particular one came with nutritional facts (not too many of them do, sorry) so I’ll be posting those at the end of this recipe.
- 12 ounces dry pasta*
- 1/2 small eggplant, cubed
- 2 cups cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced and divided
- 1.5 cups vegan marinara sauce
- 2 cup water
- 2 tsp sea salt + more for eggplant
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Optional: Fresh parsley or basil for finishing
*Use gluten free pasta to keep gluten free.
- Rinse and dice eggplant into small, bite-sized cubes. Place in a colander in the sink and sprinkle generously with salt to draw out some of the moisture. Wait 20-30 minutes, then rinse and pat thoroughly dry with a towel. Set aside. If you’re short on time, skip the eggplant and double the mushrooms.
- Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2-3 Tbsp olive oil, the eggplant and 1 clove of minced garlic. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp sea salt and stir. Sautee for 3-5 minutes or until a golden brown color is achieved, then add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes more or until all of the veggies have color. Set aside and cover – you will top the pasta with it.
- To the same saucepan, add the pasta, water, marinara sauce, the remaining cloves of garlic. Start with 1.5 tsp sea salt and 1 tsp black pepper (you will likely add more later depending on the saltiness of your marinara/your personal taste).
- Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer until the pasta is cooked to al dente – will vary depending on kind of pasta – but typically an average of 10 minutes, stirring once or twice so it doesn’t stick to the pan.
- Once cooked, stir and taste to adjust seasonings. I added more salt and fresh herbs at this point.
- Remove from heat and top with eggplant-mushroom mixture and more fresh parsley or basil. Serve immediately. Serves 3-4.
Original author’s note:
For the pasta, I used 3/4 of a 16-ounce bag of orecchiette, but would recommend a spaghetti or penne as it’s not as likely to clump together.