As you all know we were running cray last week. Who am I kidding we run crazy all summer long. We just happen to be a very active family that is hardly ever home. I don’t mind this lifestyle, that is until it interferes with my playtime in the kitchen. I have recipes that I need to try, tricks I want to learn and new discoveries awaiting me. This however is a tried and true favorite recipe. Pasta Fagioli simply means “pasta with beans”. So this is the perfect “Play with Your Food” dish. Pasta Fagioli can also be made with a sauce or into a soup by simply utilizing what you have on hand in the pantry or fresh from the garden.
I had some beautiful thin purple eggplants freshly picked from the garden and ready to eat. Not to mention I was desperate to cook something after a week of sandwich’s and fast food. So desperate in fact that I started this meal at 7:20pm knowing we wouldn’t eat until 8pm. Oh well, my guys could deal with a late supper just this once since they have had me running from pillar to post.
Pasta Fagioli with Eggplant
1 jar of Bertolli Marinara (or homemade)
1 can of Bush’s Cannellini beans
2 cloves of garlic (pressed)
2 sprigs of fresh basil
2 sprigs of fresh oregano
1 tbsp of olive oil
2 thin purple eggplants (or one small oval eggplant)
1/2 cup to approx. 1 cup of Progresso Italian bread crumbs
1 whole egg (whisked)
approx. 1 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 box of wheat angel hair pasta
Preheat the oven to 400
Slice the thin eggplants into 1/4 thick circles or rectangles if you have the small eggplant. Lay the slices in a colander or on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and set aside for approx. 10 min. The salt will remove any bitterness in the eggplant. Rinse and pat dry.
Coat one baking sheet with 1 tbsp of olive oil and set aside.
Once you have finished the prep work start the sauce. When I am in a hurry and use marinara from a jar I still add some lovely garlic and fresh herbs. So in a sauce pan on set medium, heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil and add the garlic. When the garlic is just starting to sizzle (be careful not to brown) add the jar of sauce, cannellini beans and leaves from the fresh herbs. Reduce heat to a simmer.
Now for the eggplant. In a bowl you will need the one egg whisked and in another bowl (or zip lock freezer bag) you will need the bread crumbs. Dredge the slices in the egg wash and then coat with the bread crumbs. Place each slice on the pre-coated baking sheet and drizzle with the remaining tbsp of olive oil. Bake at 400 for approx. 15-20 min or until golden brown and tender on both sides.
While the eggplant is baking boil the angel hair pasta until Al dente.
The pasta and eggplant should wrap up at about the same time. Now with the added time for the prep work this may not be a Rachel Ray 30 Minute Meal but Pasta Fagioli with baked eggplant is oh so worth it. If you would like to make this a touch healthier roast your eggplant with a drizzle of olive oil for approx. 10-15 minutes. As ya’ll know I am a southern girl so I will stick with my breaded eggplant. At least it isn’t fried… this time 🙂
Plate the angel hair pasta, smother it with ” I Cannellini Marinara” along with the lovely fresh eggplant, sprinkle some Parmesan cheese over the top and indulge yourself in savory heaven.
As always I encourage you all to play with the recipe and make it your own. I hope that you enjoy giving this recipe a try.