You create your own vegetarian pasta dish out of whatever you have in the refrigerator!
I found half an onion in the refrigerator (having made Pasta with Tomato Vodka Cream Sauce only a few days ago). I used a similar technique used in the vodka cream sauce recipe, and sauteed the diced onions in 1 T olive oil and a chunk of frozen tomato paste (approximately 1 tablespoon).
I then added the sliced eggplant (around 3 long thin Japanese eggplants) and about ⅓ cup of broth (you can used chicken or vegetable broth) and cooked until the eggplant slices were soft (~5 minutes? - I can't exactly remember!).
Note about eggplants - if you are cooking with the big American eggplants, you need to soak the slices in water and a bit of salt (~ 1 t) to remove the eggplant's bitter flavors. The thin Japanese eggplants do not have this property and thus do not need to be pre-soaked)
Uhhh . . . I hate to admit the next step, since I typically cook everything from scratch, but then I added a jar of Rao's Tomato basil sauce (one of my favorite jar sauces - it's sooooo good!)
I then added salt to taste, basil leaves, and shaved parmesan cheese on top. I think the parmesan cheese adds the necessary umami flavor to the meal. However, if you want to make the meal vegan, you can easily leave the cheese out.
Haha, after I took the picture at the top of the page, I dumped a bunch more sauce on the dish. I love sauce, and Bryan has accused me of eating pasta with my sauce. Sigh . . maybe he's right. But it was yummy . . . 🙂
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