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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

{Chunky Eggplant Ragu with Parmesan Garlic Zoodles}

Derek and I celebrated being married for 2 months last Thursday, which blows my mind!  Mainly because I have no idea where the last 2 months went!  I know we have had a blast these past two months, but the time has seriously flown by!  To celebrate we busted out our wedding China, popped a bottle of wine and just enjoyed each others company!  It was absolutely fabulous! 

I whipped up a delicious veggie filled dinner which was both elegant and simple for our evening celebration!  Chunky Eggplant Ragu with Parmesan Garlic Zoodles... Yum! 

This dish was so yummy and oh so simple to make.  I guarantee you will not miss the meat in this Chunky Eggplant Ragu!  Seriously, the eggplant adds a hearty texture to the full body tomato sauce!  The zoodles are sauteed lightly and tossed with a bit of olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and a touch of parmesan cheese!  You will have plenty of leftover Ragu, which is perfect atop fresh brown rice, penne pasta or as a stuffing for stuffed peppers!  Thats like 3 meals with leftovers! 

Chunky Eggplant Ragu with Parmesan Garlic Zoodles
Brunch N'Cupcakes
Serves 4 with leftover Ragu


Eggplant Ragu 
1 Small Eggplant - Roughly Chopped (about 1 Inch Cubes)
1 Medium Onion - Roughly Chopped 
1 Red Pepper - Roughly Chopped
4 Cloves Garlic - Minced
1/4 Cup Red Wine - or Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Prepared Pesto
1 - 15 Oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes 
2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil - Chopped
1 Teaspoon - Red Pepper Flakes, Rosemary
1/2 Teaspoon Salt and Pepper 
1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Parmesan Garlic Zoodles:
3 Large Zucchinis - Cut into Noodles Using - I use this tool 
1/4 Cup Chopped Onion 
2 Garlic Cloves Minced
1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil 
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese 
1 Tablespoon White Balsamic Vinegar 
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil 
Salt and Pepper to Taste 

For Serving:
Additional Parmesan Cheese - Optional 
Toasted Pine Nuts - Optional 


To Prepare the Eggplant Ragu:
1- In a large skillet heat olive oil.  Add onion and pepper and saute until tender.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add your chopped eggplant to the skillet and season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and rosemary.  Saute until eggplant is tender but not mushy.  
2- In a large measuring cup whisk together pesto and red wine.  Pour mixture over eggplant mixture, stir to combine.  Add crushed tomatoes to your skillet and again stir to combine. 
3-Allow sauce to simmer for 20 minutes.  Stir in fresh basil right before serving. 

** Note **
You will have about a cup of leftover ragu.  Serve leftovers over brown rice (or your favorite grain, maybe quinoa or farro), whip up some whole wheat penne, or stuff in bell peppers to make stuffed peppers!  The sky is the limit! 

To prepare the Parmesan Garlic Zoodles:
1- Grab a medium skillet and heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.  Saute Onion until tender, add garlic and cook until fragrant. Grab your zoodles and add them to the skillet.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until zoodles are slightly tender, but not mushy. Stir in balsamic vinegar and cook an additional 2 minutes. 
2- Toss zoodles with dried basil, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese and serve!

To Serve:
1- Divide zoodles evenly between 4 plates.  
2- Top each mountain of zoodles with about 1/2 Cup of the Chunky Eggplant Ragu 
3- Top each plate with 1/2 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese and Toasted Pine Nuts (optional)