A Kid + Crowd Pleasing Hearty Meal! – Sausage and Eggplant Pasta

Sausage and eggplant pasta, kid friendly recipes, dinner recipes, pasta, potluck recipes, weeknight meals, love alfa, hearty meals

It’s winter weather. It has been for a couple of weeks now down here in Austin, Texas. Which, we are NOT used to. 20 degree weather for us Texans is COOOOOLD. It also doesn’t help that the kids have been on break now for two weeks, and I think we are all driving each other crazy! 

Nonetheless, I start Whole30 on Monday, and wanted to get a really yummy comfort pasta dish in before I left it for the world of no carbs. And I knew I had to go big or go home, which meant making my super delicious sausage and eggplant pasta! It’s easy, the kids LOOOOVE IT. I’m talking like asking for seconds! I mean, who are these kids? Are they seriously eating eggplant? Sometimes it’s a fight to eat a chicken nugget, but they gobble this dish up and always ask for more. As a mom, you know how important this is! 

Sausage and eggplant pasta, kid friendly recipes, dinner recipes, pasta, potluck recipes, weeknight meals, love alfa, hearty meals

This isn’t a frilly pasta, but man it packs flavor, creaminess, and some good veggies to make it super hearty! Enough chatting, let’s get down to it!

Sausage and eggplant pasta, kid friendly recipes, dinner recipes, pasta, potluck recipes, weeknight meals, love alfa, hearty meals

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant (I wouldn’t use the chinese eggplant..it just doesn’t turn out the same IMHO)
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 3 pods of garlic
  • 5-6 basil leaves, divided
  • 1 lb of sweet italian ground sausage
  • 3 cups of uncooked pasta (Whatever you want to use is good! I went fancy with this pasta and got some Trottole, but I’ve always loved penne in this dish too!) 
  • 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • EVOO
  • Salt and pepper 

Directions:

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Chop up the eggplant into 1 inch cubes, about the same size as the cherry tomatoes.
  2. Spread some foil on a baking sheet, and toss the eggplant, all the cherry tomatoes, the garlic pods, with some EVOO. Sprinkle salt and pepper and pop it into the oven to let them roast for about 30-35 minutes!
  3. Once they are done, let them cool for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook your pasta al dente and set aside. 
  4. Lower your oven temperature to 300. Heat a skillet with a little EVOO, and start to brown up your ground italian sausage. Add in a little bit of salt and pepper to flavor it, but normally it packs so much flavor without having to add a lot to it. Once cooked through, set aside. 
  5. Now that your roasted veggies have cooled, blend it with a half cup of water with about 3-4 basil leaves. Add more water depending on the consistency you want. I ended up with having to add about 3/4 cups of water to get it to a silky texture that I wanted to toss everything with. Make sure that all the bits of eggplant get blended if you’re feeding this to kids and you want to hide the fact it’s got vegetables! Ha. 
  6. In an oven safe dish, mix together the cooked pasta, the sausage, and the blended pasta sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese and cover with foil. Stick it back in the oven for about 10 minutes. Uncover, and cook for another 5 minutes! Top with basil ribbons, and VOILA!! 

Make Ahead Directions:

When I prep meals on Sunday, I’ll cook the italian sausage and make the blended sauce so that it when it comes to making dinner on a weeknight, I just have to boil the pasta and toss it with the sausage and the sauce and pop it into the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes covered, 5 minutes uncovered! Dinner in about 20 minutes on a weeknight is basically GOLD. 

Sausage and eggplant pasta, kid friendly recipes, dinner recipes, pasta, potluck recipes, weeknight meals, love alfa, hearty mealsSausage and eggplant pasta, kid friendly recipes, dinner recipes, pasta, potluck recipes, weeknight meals, love alfa, hearty meals

Makes for amazing leftovers which heat up super fast and thanks to the creaminess of the dish, it doesn’t dry out! 

Sausage and Eggplant Pasta
A kid and crowd pleasing hearty pasta that comes together super quickly for an amazing meal!
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Ingredients
  1. * 1 medium eggplant (I wouldn't use the chinese eggplant..it just doesn't turn out the same IMHO)
  2. * 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  3. * 3 pods of garlic
  4. * 5-6 basil leaves, divided
  5. * 1 lb of sweet italian ground sausage
  6. * 3 cups of uncooked pasta (Whatever you want to use is good! I went fancy with this pasta and got some Trottole, but I've always loved penne in this dish too!)
  7. * 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  8. * EVOO
  9. * Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. 1. Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Chop up the eggplant into 1 inch cubes, about the same size as the cherry tomatoes.
  2. 2. Spread some foil on a baking sheet, and toss the eggplant, all the cherry tomatoes, the garlic pods, with some EVOO. Sprinkle salt and pepper and pop it into the oven to let them roast for about 30-35 minutes!
  3. 3. Once they are done, let them cool for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook your pasta al dente and set aside.
  4. 4. Lower your oven temperature to 300. Heat a skillet with a little EVOO, and start to brown up your ground italian sausage. Add in a little bit of salt and pepper to flavor it, but normally it packs so much flavor without having to add a lot to it. Once cooked through, set aside.
  5. 5. Now that your roasted veggies have cooled, blend it with a half cup of water with about 3-4 basil leaves. Add more water depending on the consistency you want. I ended up with having to add about 3/4 cups of water to get it to a silky texture that I wanted to toss everything with. Make sure that all the bits of eggplant get blended if you're feeding this to kids and you want to hide the fact it's got vegetables! Ha.
  6. 6. In an oven safe dish, mix together the cooked pasta, the sausage, and the blended pasta sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese and cover with foil. Stick it back in the oven for about 10 minutes. Uncover, and cook for another 5 minutes! Top with basil ribbons, and VOILA!!
Make Ahead Directions
  1. When I prep meals on Sunday, I'll cook the italian sausage and make the blended sauce so that it when it comes to making dinner on a weeknight, I just have to boil the pasta and toss it with the sausage and the sauce and pop it into the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes covered, 5 minutes uncovered! Dinner in about 20 minutes on a weeknight is basically GOLD.
Love, Alfa http://www.alfasengupta.com/

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3 Comments

  1. January 13, 2018 / 7:41 AM

    That looks really delicious! If you can believe it, I’ve never cooked with eggplant before!

    • Alfa
      January 16, 2018 / 10:22 AM

      Omg you’ve got to give it a try! It’s amazing!

  2. January 15, 2018 / 8:59 PM

    Am pretty sure the neighbours can hear my tummy growling – this looks so good! What can I sub out for the suasage? Would ground chicken work or be too bland?

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