It’s been a while since I have posted a super easy + yummy recipe, so I thought I would share this one with you all – considering I have been eating it every week and it doesn’t take long at all to make.
Since I got pregnant, I have been really trying to incorporate some veggies and healthier options into my favorite meals, one of my favs being PASTA. GIVE ME ALL OF THE PASTA. I used to make pasta the easy way by throwing a jar of sauce over some noodles and calling it a day, but I never realized how much salt was in jarred pasta sauces. It wasn’t until my feet swelled up after eating it that I decided to start making my own super easy sauce, and I have done so since.
Yeah, I know making your own pasta sauce sounds like a lot, but it’s not. And it’s really all about the taste, so there’s no specific way to add your spices in since you just cater it to your own preference and taste. Another way I make this dish a little healthier? Eggplant. I never really ate eggplant before because it honestly grossed me out, but then I found these. They are Breaded Eggplant Cutlets from Trader Joe’s and they are sooooooo good. They don’t take long at all to cook + so easy to throw into a meal, hence what I did here. Of course – you can buy eggplant from the store, bread it yourself, and bake it. Or you can just go to Trader Joe’s and buy it in a box. That’s more my style.
So here is what you’ll need:
+ pasta of your choice (i use wheat or organic spaghetti noodles)
+ meat *completely optional* (i used lean mince beef but you can also use turkey or chicken)
+ mozzarella cheese ( again, completely optional)
+ 1 can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
+ 1 can tomato sauce
+ a couple of different spices – oregano, pepper, salt, basil, or anything else you want to use!
+ breaded eggplant cutlets from Trader Joe’s (they look like this)
+ spinach & tomatoes for side salad + any dressing you prefer
OK, getting the ingredients together is like, the hardest part. Trust me.
Start off by cooking your meat, if you chose to include it in the meal. If not, skip this step. Put some olive oil in a pan and cook your mince beef/turkey/whatever on medium heat until it’s browned.
2. In the meantime, go ahead and boil a large saucepan of water for your noodles. For this meal, you’re probably going to be using up every burner on your stove!
3. In a smaller saucepan, combine your diced tomatoes + tomato sauce. Put it on low – medium heat and cover. Once it is warmed, you’ll add your spices. I put in a couple sprinkles on oregano, pepper, salt, and basil but this part is completely up to how you want your sauce to taste. Red pepper is a great touch too if you like a little k i c k!
4. Once your meat is done cooking and is browned, add this into your sauce mixture and combine. Let that simmer for the rest of the time you are cooking.
5. Take your ‘eggplant cutlets’ and lay them in a skillet, fitting as much as you can FLAT on the pan. You’re going to cook these on medium heat and basically defrost and warm them up, since they will be going in the oven eventually.
6. Let your eggplant cook about 5 minutes on each side. Keep an eye on your noodles and drain them once they are done!
7. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil + some olive oil. After your eggplant has been cooking for 10 minutes total, transfer them to your baking sheet. Spoon a little bit of your sauce mixture onto the eggplant cutlets and sprinkle your mozzarella cheese on top. Broil these for around 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. (oven times may vary)
8. Plate your noodles, add your sauce mixture, and top with your eggplant. Serve with your choice of salad + dressing and enjoy!
I definitely make this recipe weekly and although it seems lengthy, once you get the hang of it, it’s a super easy weeknight meal and can be made bigger or smaller to fit the amount of people you are feeding!
Enjoy and let me know how you liked this recipe in the comments! Talk to you soon xx