Monday, August 13, 2012

Eggplant? Here is a Great Idea For a Pasta Topping

Have you ever picked up a piece of fruit or a vegetable in your local market and brought it home and then wondered what you are going to do with it?

That happened to me this past week... my favorite little produce market had eggplants on sale for 99 cents each so I chose one without really thinking.  When I arrived home, I set it in a bowl on the table along with some tomatoes and an avocado... and sorta forgot about it.

Then on Saturday, I decided I wanted to have pasta for dinner and thought I should use that eggplant in my sauce.  I remembered that the Weight Watchers web site has a RECIPE FINDER feature in the e-tools section so I had a look.  I don't often think to use it but we had just been discussing it at a meeting during the week so I thought I would give it a try.

You can enter up to 3 items that you would like your dish to contain so I typed  eggplant, tomatoes, and then pasta in the 3 search fields... and the first recipe returned looked so good to me that I didn't pay any attention to any others.

I didn't follow the recipe as it was written so I will share what I did actually make.  It was wonderful!  And The Captain specifically requested we have it again so that is win for sure.

I find it easier, when preparing a recipe that has a few steps, to make sure all my ingredients are ready to use so I begin by slicing, chopping, measuring.... before I start cooking...  particularly now when we are eating 2 different kinds of pasta.  For this dish I cooked linguini for The Captain and gluten-free brown rice rotini for me.

Of course, if you ARE a Weight Watcher, you can change up the amount of cheese if you want to alter the number of P+ involved.  The Laughing Cow wedges I use are 1 P+ each.

And one more thing... I think this would freeze very nicely.  So make extra to have on hand for a quick meal.  It's that good!

Eggplant and Tomatoes For Pasta
Makes 2 servings
  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/3 to 1/2 inch-thick rounds
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into 8 strips
  • 1 spritz olive oil  
  • 1/2 tsp table salt, divided
  • 1 clove garlic peeled, smashed and minced
  • 2 medium fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes
  • dash black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped
  • 4 Laughing Cow cheese wedges, each cut into 5 or 6 pieces
  • 2 Tbs freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • 4 ounces dry pasta of your choice (or measure the amount that you would like to have - we normally eat 2 ounces each)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  2. Place the eggplant slices and yellow pepper strips on a baking sheet that has been coated with a non-stick spray.  Spritz them very lightly with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt. 
  3. Roast the veggies for 20 minutes, then remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the veggies cool to room temperature.
  4. Cook the pasta to al dente while you are making the vegetable sauce.
  5. Lightly coat a medium-large skillet with non-stick spray and set over MEDIUM heat.
  6. Saute the minced garlic for about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till soft, about 5 minutes.
  8. While the tomatoes are cooking, cut the roasted eggplant and peppers into bite-size pieces.  Add them to the skillet when tomatoes are cooked.
  9. Add the red pepper flakes, dash of black pepper, chopped basil and chopped chives, and stir well.
  10. Allow to cook till all veggies are heated through.
  11. Drain and plate the pasta, then top each plate with half of the veggie mixture.
  12. Dot the pieces of Laughing Cow cheese over the vegetables and then sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top.
  13. Serve while hot.
Per serving, without the pasta.
Weight Watchers P+ = 6.
Calories 210; Protein 10g; Carbohydrate 29g; Fat 9g; Fibre 9g.

The pasta we use is 4P+ for 2 ounces dry, but yours might be different so I haven't included that in the N.I. here.. of course you will add that number to this sauce to get the total for the meal. 

And I do understand that there is always a bit of controversy about including the zero point vegetables in the overall P+ count.  The only things that really count here are the spritz of olive oil and the cheeses.  Those items add up to 3 P+ in each serving.  Use your own discretion.

Roast the eggplant and pepper in the oven for 20 minutes.

I just happen to have chives and basil growing on my balcony.

Let the roasted eggplant and pepper cool while you start the pasta and sauce.

Roughly chopped tomatoes.

Cut the eggplant and pepper into bite-size chunks.

Add them to the skillet with the seasonings and herbs.

Drain and plate the pasta.

Put the veggie mixture and cheeses on top to serve while still hot.

Allow each diner to mix in the cheeses to at the table... they will melt and get gooey in the hot pasta and veggies... Mmmm!



  1. You posted this at the perfect time! My daughter just picked an eggplant yesterday. I don't have much experience with them beyond eggplant parm. I'm so making this!

  2. awesome I have an eggplant that I was debating what to do with tomorrow!

  3. I love eggplant in my pasta sauces and never thought about roasting them first. That would really enhance the flavor. I have two eggplants waiting to be picked from my garden so I think I will try the roasting technique. I usually just saute my veggies well and let them simmer while the pasta cooks. They are then nice and tender and the whole family enjoys!


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