This is one of those recipes that uses the vegetables languishing in the recesses of your refrigerator—chunks of zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplant, the lonesome onion, and the remains of that good cheddar.
The tomato sauce brings the one-skillet meal all together. When I use a store-bought sauce, it’s always Rao, because it has repeatedly been acclaimed for its light, fresh, homemade flavor. I agree wholeheartedly.
My favorite is the Arrabbiata variety, that has a bit of kick from the red pepper and garlic. Not too much, mind you, just enough to add a dash of pizazz. Their Marinara is milder.
Zucchini Eggplant Pasta
- ½ lb. thin spaghetti, cooked and drained
- 1-2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, cut pole to pole and cut into horizontal slices
- 2 small zucchinis or part yellow squash, halved and quartered
- 1 cup eggplant, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 2 garlic clove, minced, or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. turmeric (optional)
- 1 cup, good quality spaghetti sauce, (I use Rao’s Arrabbiata*)
- 1 cup cheddar or Colby cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat.
- Add onions, zucchini, and eggplant and sauté about 5 minutes. Add garlic and turmeric and sauté several minutes more until mixture softens. Salt and pepper lightly. (Best to taste and adjust seasonings before serving.)
- Next, add spaghetti sauce and cook a few minutes until incorporated.
- Put cooked pasta to the skillet.
- Add cheeses to the skillet and stir pasta on low heat to melt the cheese.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add a jolt of hot sauce, if needed. (Serves 3-4)
- Arrabbiata, or “angry” sauce, is a spicy, Southern Italian sauce made from tomatoes, garlic and crushed red pepper cooked in olive oil. It adds spiciness to pasta, meats, fish and pizza. While it offers a lift to a dish, it is not overly spicy. Substitute another Rao tomato sauce, if desired.
- To make this a meat dish. Add 1/2 lb. of crumbled sausage or ground beef to skillet. Remove when brown, drain on paper towel, and proceed to step 2. Place meat back in skillet along with cooked pasta in step 5.
- Turmeric: Because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, I look for opportunities to sprinkle this highly acclaimed spice into my recipes, which I have done here.