Eggplant Spinach Pasta with Kalamata Olives

This pasta was made mostly from things in my pantry.  I have given directions and ingredients as though you have a fresh eggplant and celery because you can make this dish in the summer when these ingredients are in season.  However, I grill and freeze eggplant and if you do too this is a great recipe to use them in.  I also blanch and freeze celery when I can get it in season locally and I don’t buy it any other time of year.  If you’re using frozen eggplant and celery, as I did here, you skip sauteeing the eggplant and just saute the onions until translucent and lightly browned and add the celery and eggplant at the same time as the tomato sauce.  I defrost the eggplant ahead of time because it’s safer to dice them once thawed, but I don’t defrost the celery, I just add it to the sauce and let it defrost as it cooks.  I used my home canned tomatoes and if you have them use 1 quart of diced tomatoes (and their juice) and 1 pint of tomato sauce.  I like to serve this with Parmesan but feta is very good with it too.  Happily, if you don’t eat cheese, it’s wonderful without!

When I’m impatient for summer produce this is the dish I make.

Ingredients:

serves 6

1/4 cup olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 large eggplant, diced into 1/2″ cubes

3 stalks celery, chopped

28 oz can diced tomatoes in their juice

15 oz can tomato sauce

8 oz spinach, roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely minced (or you can press them)

1/2 cup red wine

6 oz bottle of Kalamata olives, drained

1 lb pasta (rotelli or penne would be good choices)

Method:

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on med/high heat and saute the onions and the eggplant until the eggplant is lightly browned.  Add the celery, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce and stir well together.  When the sauce begins to bubble, add the spinach, garlic, and wine.  Turn the heat down to med/low, add the olives and let cook, stirring to keep from sticking, while you cook the pasta.

Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta in it until it’s done.  Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce.  Take it off the heat and serve.

This dish is Vegan

This dish is Gluten Free IF you use gluten free pasta

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