This is one of my favorite weeknight meals to make, it's quick, healthy, filling and delicious! I've made this dish with just spinach as well as just eggplant (it's also great with zucchini, or broccoli) but there's something Mediterraneanly pleasing to me about the taste and color of eggplant and spinach.
For those of you who are (or cook for) spinach haters, this is a dish that offers the healthy benefits of the green without an obtrusive, or bitter taste. I've served this dish to a spinach-phobic friend who told me that he, "actually didn't mind the spinach", a big step for him!
Like all pasta dishes, adding fresh basil at the end takes it to a new level, but if you don't have fresh basil on hand, (and just how many of us do on a weeknight in winter time?) just substitute 1 tablespoon of dried basil added with the other spices.
Tomato Sauce with Eggplant and Spinach
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion- chopped
4 cloves of Garlic-minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp sugar
Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1/2 of a medium to large eggplant (@ two cups)
1 cup of frozen spinach- thawed and drained
1/2 cup red wine
1-15 oz can of diced tomatoes
@ 3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
grated parmesan cheese to taste
Cooked Pasta (gluten-free)
• Wash the eggplant, discard the top and bottom. Lay it on it's side and slice it in about 1/2 inch round pieces
• Sprinkle all of the pieces liberally with salt on both sides, and drain for about 1/2 hour standing up, leaning against the sides of a colander
• Using a paper towel, dab away the moisture and salt from the eggplant slices
• Chop the eggplant into bite-sized (@1/2") cubes
• Heat a frying pan with the olive oil to medium high
• Add the onion, saute until translucent, then add the garlic, cook for another minute or two
• Next add the oregano, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes (optional), mixing all together well
• Add in the chopped eggplant, stirring frequently to coat the pieces with the spices and olive oil
• Next add the spinach, mixing it in well
• Add the red wine, tomatoes and sugar, stir and bring to a boil
• Once boiling reduce heat to simmer and cook, uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
• Serve over cooked pasta, sprinkle with the fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese, and enjoy!