July 12, 2011

Hearty, Healthy, and not too Heavy: Fettuccine with Mushrooms and Eggplant

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Picture this: it's Wednesday night, it's rainy, you're hungry. Since the weather's bad, you want something comforting and hearty, but you also want something healthy and not too heavy. And, since it's raining, you don't want to go out.

I'm just going to lay around and wait this one out...

Look around your pantry - if you cook like we do, you probably have pasta on hand, and potentially even some tomato sauce. And if you happened to make our mushroom pasta sauce earlier in the week, there's a good chance you have mushrooms.

That's the genesis of this hearty healthy and hot too heavy fettuccine with mushroom and eggplant ragu. It just so happened that we had these ingredients on hand and had some tomato sauce, so we pulled together something that was quite nice. The beauty of this type of meal - the quick and easy ragu - is that you can use really whatever you have on hand. Don't have an eggplant? Use broccoli or cauliflower instead. Have some meat on hand that you don't want to go to waste? Throw that in.

What about cat food? Can we throw that in?

However, we found this particular combination to be really nice. The mushrooms give it a nice savory flavor, while the eggplant adds a nice meaty texture while still remaining light overall.

Making the Dish
What You'll Need

1/2 lb fettuccine
2 cups tomato sauce
Italian eggplant
1 cup mushrooms
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbsp olive oil

Since the point of this is that it's something you'll pull together based on what you already have on hand, we'll assume you have a nice plain tomato sauce ready to go in your fridge. So to get started, you'll need to get your stuff chopped up. Slice your mushrooms into nice thin slices, and the eggplant into cubes. Salt the eggplant and let it sit for about 20 minutes prior to cooking it. Lastly, chop up some garlic and onion into a small dice.

Adding the eggplant into the cooked mushrooms and onions.

In a large pan, heat up some olive oil over medium heat. Once it's close to smoking, begin to sauté the onions and once they're soft, add the garlic, cooking until it's fragrant. Then, add in the mushrooms. Cook these in the onion mixture until they start to render their moisture, and then let the moisture cook off. Once it's cooked off (about 3 - 5 minutes), add in the eggplant and stir around.

Caramelized eggplant, mushroom, and onion. Looking and smelling delicious.
Into the mix, add in white wine and let it boil off until reduced by about half. Then, add in your tomato sauce, stir until fully integrated, and let simmer. Season with salt and pepper as needed

Tomato sauce mixed into the eggplant mixture.
In a large pot, boil up some salted water while the sauce is simmering. Once boiled, drop in your fettuccine. Stir frequently while it cooks, and at 1 minute less than the package directions, use tongs to take the fettuccine out of the water and add it directly to your ragu.

Delicious al dente fettuccine tossed into the eggplant ragu.
Toss together over high heat to let the flavors marry, and after about a minute of tossing, remove from heat. Then spoon a nice big amount into a serving bowl, top with grated pecorino romano cheese, and enjoy!

The Result

If you wanted something hearty, healthy, and not too heavy, this will really hit the spot. The flavor from the  mushrooms and the texture of the eggplant will certainly satisfy your cravings, and the nice wide flat fettuccine noodle will give you a great surface area to grab onto a lot of the tasty sauce.

What's your favorite pantry ready dish? Let us know in the comments!


  1. I've always liked this combination...remember making it a couple of times when you were growing up! Glad to see it's back on the menu!

  2. I'm totally making that, looks incredible!


  4. You all are great, thanks! Nome Alone, let us know how it goes for you! :)


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