Fresh Eggplant! Mmmm! A large fresh Eggplant is even better! I definitely had plans for the veggie as soon as I caught a glimpse of it at the road side stand. Suddenly, I remembered the rather thin tomato sauces that can be purchased for pasta toppings. It was time for my West Bend Slow Cooker to do its thing. Every so often a delicious, nutritious dinner containing tomato sauce really hits the spot.
Eggplant Meat Sauce! If you have a stocked food pantry, as I do, the needed canned goods are a few steps away. A zucchini and a handful of fresh spinach were in the fridge. If I did not have these veggies, but a fresh green pepper was in my crisper, I'd use that instead. You get the picture - this sauce never is prepped using the same exact ingredients. It's great!
This hearty sauce was served over penne. Yes, there were more servings left after dinner. You guessed it! Ziploc Freezer containers were packed and labelled/dated and found their place in our large freezer - after the sauce cooled. In the colder months a few dinners will take only a few minutes to prepare.
**My Slow Cooker's removable pot has a nonstick coating. I still spray it lightly with PAM. I also always place a veggie (in this scenario I had some cooked pasta) on the bottom. Usually in a Slow Cooker/Crock Pot the meat/chicken is placed on the bottom. For me it's the second food to go in. This eliminates any slightly dry meat on the bottom.
Eggplant Meat Sauce
(1) large Eggplant - Cut into slices and then cut each slice in 6 pieces.
1/4 Cup leftover Pasta, if desired
(1) lb. Ground Beef - Brown in skillet, removes fat
(1) small Zucchini - cut in slices.
Fresh Spinach - if desired & available
About 28 oz. Tomato Sauce
(1) can Tomatoes - can be whole & cut in quarters or diced
(1) 6 oz. can Tomato Paste
Dehydrated Onion, Parsley - as desired
1/4 teaspoon each Garlic Powder, Oregano, Basil
- Spray Slow Cooker pot with PAM.
- Brown Ground Beef in skillet.
- Place Pasta in pot.
- Add browned Ground Beef.
- Add sliced Zucchini & Eggplant pieces.
- Add Onions & Parsley.
- Cover with Spinach, if desired.
- Add drained cut/diced Tomatoes.
- In small bowl mix Tomato Paste with Tomato Sauce until smooth.
- Add Tomato Sauce/Paste to pot.
- Add Garlic Powder, Oregano & Basil.
- Cover with lid.
- Cook on High (#5) Setting for 4 hours.
- Serve over Pasta of choice.