Fiery Wagon Wheels
adapted from EveryDay with Rachel Ray, March 2008
1 medium to large sized eggplant
1 pound hot italian sausage
1 pound wheel or rotelle pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 a large onion, chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, quartered
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
28 ounces of diced, fire-roasted tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices. Spread out on baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Flip and repeat on reverse side.
- Roast eggplant for 10 minutes, flip and roast ten minutes more. Remove from oven when done and cut into cubes.
- After the eggplant goes in the oven, start a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Cook pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and reserve 2 cups of the pasta cooking water.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Saute onion for 2-4 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute 2-4 minutes more, until both vegetables are soft.
- Lower the heat to medium and add in the garlic. Cook about 3 minutes more.
- Add the tomatoes and their liquid, simmer for ten minutes.
- Start the sausage browning in a medium skillet. Stir occastionally and break part into bite size pieces.
- When cooked, add sausage pieces to skillet with tomato sauce. Add 1 cup of the pasta cooking water to the skillet and scrape up any browned bits. Add to the sauce.
- Simmer the sauce over low heat for 5 minutes.
- Transfer cooked pasta to a large serving bowl. Add in cubed eggplant. Pour sauce over pasta mixture. Add in parsley, scallions and cheese. Toss, adding more pasta water if necessary.
- Serve with extra parmesan for topping.