Easy Dinner (based on what was in the fridge)

Lazy Pasta: (serves 2 with extras left-over, or 3 to 4 with no left-overs)

1 medium sized eggplant

1 pint of cherry tomatoes

1 box of pasta (Alma’s Trottole is what we chose)

2 cloves of garlic

5 leaves of basil

1 tablespoon olive oil (plus more for tossing vegetables)

1/2 jar of Rao’s 4 Cheese Marinara

Parmesan

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. While you wait for the oven to preheat, slice the eggplant into one-inch pieces. Place the eggplant and cherry tomatoes into a bowl, and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and place the eggplant and tomatoes on it in a single layer. Once the oven is preheated, cook for twenty minutes (may take longer depending on your oven).

While the eggplant and tomatoes are in the oven, boil some water for the pasta. Be sure to salt the water. Add the pasta and cook for the time mentioned on box. Our box suggested al dente in 9 minutes but cooking time was listed as 11 minutes. (The pasta needed more time at 9 minutes so we cooked it for the full 11 minutes, and it was perfect. The pasta still had a bit of chew left to it.)

While the pasta is cooking, mince the garlic cloves and chiffonade the basil leaves. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sized saucepan on medium heat. Once the oil is ready, add in the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Then pour in half of the jar of marinara sauce (you can make your own, but we figured since we had some on hand we would just use it). The sauce will bubble up a little once it is added. Turn the heat to low and let the sauce and garlic simmer for a few minutes.

Drain the pasta once it is cooked and place back in the pot. Pour in the heated garlic and marinara sauce and stir. Then add in the eggplant and cherry tomato mixture, and stir. Serve in large bowls and garnish with parmesan and the basil.

*Sadly I forgot to snap a picture before devouring it, but it looked and tasted great. Would highly recommend trying. Perfect meal to enjoy cuddled up, watching a movie with my lovely mother. Cooking with her is always a fantastic adventure.

These easy, throw-together-whatever-we-have-in-the-pantry-and-fridge type meals are my absolute favorite. My family was always big on planning a few meals but halfway through the week we would end up “winging it” and throwing together a concoction based off what was left. These strange meals are one of my favorite parts of cooking because it really is not about the food. While the food usually does end up tasting fantastic, I find the best part is just working together and enjoying cooking. I find meals are a lot more enjoyable when teamwork is involved.

I’ll be cooking up more throw-together dinners later this summer when I make homemade pasta and ricotta with my family!

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