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I’ve been a busy girl (maybe a bit lazy too) and haven’t gotten a chance to write this recipe down since I posted it.  It’s not really a recipe, just something that I threw together, a method if you will.  It involved stirring, boiling, baking, and blending for the most part.  Feel free to use any kind of tomato sauce that you have on hand whether it’s leftover or your favorite bottled sauce.  I have been trying to use up all of the open pasta boxes that I have laying around in my fridge so this meal fit the bill for that.

I remember a time when I would make gagging noises and faces (very classy) when my mother would serve any and all kind of eggplant.  Just like many kids, I spent a lot of my time deciding that I did not like something without even trying it.  My mom persisted, but to no avail.  When I was a teenager a small restaurant was next to my family’s store and they ran daily lunch specials.  One day, one of those specials was eggplant rollatine.  Little eggplant pillows, filled with creamy ricotta, and topped with a tangy tomato sauce.  I tasted a tiny bit and was hooked.  Now I like eggplant and cook it often.  It’s funny how our taste buds change and thank goodness they do!

Pantry Eggplant Pesto Lasagna Bowl

Eggplant

1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/2 -3/4 inch round slices
1 c. whole grain breadcrumbs
1/2 c. H2O
1 tblsp. x.virg.ol.oil

Preheat oven to 350F

I don’t salt my eggplant but you can if you’d like.  I find that as long as I use smallish eggplants they are not bitter in any way.  Put the breadcrumbs in a bowl and the H2O and oil together in another bowl.  Dip the eggplant slices in the H2O and oil mixture and then in the breadcrumb mixture.  Place on a lighly oiled cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes on each side.  The bottoms (when you flip them) should be golden brown.  Remove from cookie sheet and cool.

Basil Spinach Pesto

This is the kitchen sink of pestos and you can add anything you’d like in place of anything else.  Swap arugula or a bunch of blanched asparagus out for the spinach.  Use any nuts you have around.  Throw in some olives and/or sundried tomatoes.  The choice is yours.

1 pkge. basil
2-3 handfuls fresh baby spinach
2 handfuls of pumpkin seeds
2-3 garlic cloves
1 tblsp. balsamic vinegar
x.virg.ol.oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt to taste

Blitz everything in the food processor except for the salt and olive oil until it is a coarse paste.  Stream in the olive oil until it is a bit more liquidy.  Add salt to taste a 1/4 tsp. at a time.

Pasta

Cook your choice of whole wheat pasta or any other kind of pasta you’d like.  I broke up some leftover whole wheat lasagna sheets that I had and cooked them until al dente (still a bit firm but not crunchy). 

To Serve

In a bowl I layered my freshly cooked pasta with the baked eggplant and then doused it with the sauce and topped the whole thing off with a dollop of pesto.  I also brought this to work for lunch for the next two days.