A delicious and easy dinner idea for weeknights! This slow cooker eggplant pasta recipe made with a rich sauce of tomato, dry white wine and sausage. Add a little heavy cream (optional) and parmesan to finish it off!
Early autumn is an ideal time to use up that eggplant you’ve been eyeing in your garden for weeks. I’d walk by the growing purple bulb on my way to the basil and think about how I really needed to do something with it!
Is Eggplant A Fruit
Eggplants are actually a fruit that can be used in a variety of dishes because it readily absorbs other flavors. Like a tomato, you can eat both the skin and the seeds, but it’s not advisable to eat it raw so it’s almost always cooked. We grow eggplant every year because I adore that indistinguishable deep purple hue. For those who’ve never tasted an eggplant, they will surely know its color. I think one of my high school prom dresses was inspired by it!
How Do You Make Tomato and Eggplant Sauce
The eggplant simmers in the slow cooker to create a rich sauce made with tomato, dry white wine and sausage. When ready to serve, just add fresh cooked pasta. A couple of years ago, I came across a recipe in an issue of ‘Good & Fresh’ magazine that involved eggplant pasta and a slow cooker. Brilliant! I’ve changed the recipe quite a bit to enhance the flavors for our family. I now call it “Slow Cooker Eggplant Pasta with Sausage” It’s a dish we all enjoy this busy time of year.
Are you ready to make “Slow cooker Eggplant Pasta with Sausage” with me?
Come on in to my kitchen!
First off, in a heavy bottom skillet, cook one pound of your favorite ground sausage in olive oil and set it aside.
Using the same pan, saute chopped onion with minced garlic and fennel seeds. The fennel will start to pop and crisp up as they cook with the onion and garlic. It smells wonderful!
How To Prepare and Peel Eggplant
Meanwhile, you will peel the eggplant with a vegetable peeler. Eggplants are ideally harvested when the skin is glossy and thin while the inside flesh is cream colored and firm. We want to remove the skin for this recipe because the slow cooker will soften the eggplant and make them almost invisible in our dish – a sneaky move for picky eaters.
How Do You Know If The Eggplant is Fresh
You can see that the seeds are a light golden brown. That means the eggplant has been freshly picked. If you cut into an eggplant that has dark brown or black seeds, it has been picked for awhile. You can still use the eggplant as long as the flesh is still firm.
Discard the peels and chop up two cups of the eggplant fruit.
How to Make Eggplant Pasta
Add the sausage, onion mixture and eggplant to your slow cooker. Next, chop up fresh parsley, fresh basil and add dried oregano and salt.
To the slow cooker, also add fire roasted tomatoes and tomato paste. Look at the pretty colors represented here!
Don’t get out your stir stick yet. We are going to add some dry white wine. I like to buy those small size wines in the cooking section of your grocery. You could use pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc or chardonnay. Measure out dry white wine with 1 cup of water. Pour them both into your slow cooker.
Give it all a good stir. Doesn’t that look yummy? Just wait until it cooks down and makes your kitchen smell like an Italian bistro. Cover and slow cook on HIGH for 3.5 hours or on LOW for 7 hours.
When ready to serve, cook 10 oz. of pasta (penne, ziti, macaroni – whatever!) in salted water. Drain the pasta well and stir it into the sauce. Sometimes I also stir in a little heavy cream to make it more decadent and top with fresh grated parmesan. Enjoy this with a salad and maybe even a glass of that leftover white wine. It’s a unique dish that will give you another reason to love that amazing purple fruit.
More of the Best Slow Cooker Recipes
Slow Cooker Eggplant Pasta with Sausage
- 1 pound ground sausage any kind
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup white onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 2 cups eggplant chopped with skin removed
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 14.5 oz. fire roasted tomatoes
- 6 oz. tomato paste
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup water
- heavy cream optional
- fresh parmesan optional
- In a heavy bottom skillet, cook the ground sausage in about 2 T. of olive oil and set it aside.
- Using the same pan, saute the onion, garlic and fennel seeds until the seeds pop and start to crisp.
- Meanwhile, peel an eggplant with a vegetable peeler. Discard the peels and chop up two cups of the eggplant fruit into small cubes.
- Add the sausage, onion mixture and eggplant to your slow cooker.
- Next, chop up and add the fresh parsley, fresh basil and add the dried oregano and salt
- To the slow cooker, add the can of fire roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, dry white wine and water.
- Stir well and set your slow cooker for LOW at 3.5 hours or HIGH for 7 hours.
- When ready to serve, cook 10 oz. of your favorite pasta pasta in salted water and stir the pasta into the sauce.
- Stir in heavy cream and/or top with fresh parmesan (optional)