It has been a Triple-R week in my house this week! A “Rachael Ray Recipe” week. As a subscriber to her magazine and avid “catch the recipe of the day” Rachael Ray Show viewer, she always has plenty of great takes on traditional dishes. Wednesday night I decided to attempt her “Meatless Monday” throw-back version of sloppy joes. By substituting eggplant for ground beef, this becomes an easy mid-week vegetarian dish.
After a long day of work, I came home to cook and oops, baby brain!, forgot the buns and the cheese for these simple sammies. So I improvised; one of the best liberties of being an at home chef! I transformed Rachael’s transformed recipe into a delectable pasta dish; always a hit in our house! Here’s my recipe for Meatless Monday Eggplant Sloppy Joe Penne.
1/2 box of penne pasta
1 eggplant peeled and diced
1/2 red bell pepper chopped
1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped (I empty the can into a bowl and use my kitchen sheers to snip them 🙂 )
3 TBS chopped basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 TBS Italian seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat a large pan over medium high heat. Drizzle with EVOO, add in the garlic, pepper, and eggplant. Saute for 2-3 minutes then add the tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer until the vegetables are softened and cooked through, about 10 minutes, adding the basil in the last 2 minutes.
Add your drained pasta into the “sloppy joe” mix and stir until combined. Enjoy!
A soon-to-be-mommy mistake ended in a delicious surprise! Sometimes you just have to improvise and use what you’ve got. The fresh basil mixed with all these classic Italian veggies make it a perfect week night meal that you will feel good about feeding your family. So grab those cook books and start re-thinking your recipes. It could be your next classic go-to dinner!
Stephanie a.k.a. The Foodetarian