It’s my second Meatless Monday dish, and I’ve been very excited to find new recipes that do not feature meat as the star. I almost think of this as a detox day to get in as much veggies and fruits as my body can muster.
This pasta sauce coincides nicely with both themes I am following this month, meatless (Mondays for sure only) and unprocessed (except for the pasta :/). The combination of the mushrooms, carrots, and eggplant really make this hearty so that if you are a die hard meat eater, you will not miss it in this dish.
After the fact, I added some raw sugar to the sauce as I felt like it was a little too sour. You could of course totally skip this if you want, but my taste buds haven’t quite gotten over the fake sweetness often added into dishes. What you are left with is a nicely balanced, FRESH sauce. You could even saute the veggies or maybe even roast them before putting them in the hot tub (aka slow cooker). If you do not like the veggies used, swap them out for something you love. And use whatever pasta you like. I just happened to have whole wheat shells on had. Use what you have! The possibilities are really endless…
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 rib celery, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 medium eggplant, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 10 ounce mushrooms, chopped
- 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1 pound whole-wheat penne
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1. Mist a slow-cooker insert with cooking spray. Combine butter, onion, celery, carrot and garlic in slow cooker. Add eggplant, mushrooms and 1 tsp. salt. Stir in tomatoes, cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours. Stir once or twice during cooking.
- 2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook penne until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain pasta, toss with sauce, sprinkle with basil (and grated Parmesan, if desired) and serve.
Issue 10, October 21st, 2011