This has been a tough week for me. I worked over thirty hours and all in the evening. You may say, "Great, you had the whole morning and early afternoon for yourself." However, I work at home i.e. laundry, vacuuming etc. you get the picture, no maid here. I also got to the gym most mornings too. By the time I return from the gym, it's time to start cooking supper so that I can have my big meal midday and my husband just has to reheat his.
My sister's mother-in-law had a garden at her beach house again this summer. When I went to check on her house the other day, there was one lone, small ripe eggplant on the vine. I broke it off and brought it home. What to do with that small eggplant? I dug through my recipe box and found a recipe for eggplant and macaroni casserole. I got this from my friend Marlene over thirty years ago.
I'm going to digress here for a moment regarding best use of my time. To save time when I'm busy, I use Delicious Orchards Personal Shopping feature on their website. After creating a profile, I'm able to log in and shop from home selecting from categories such as fruits, vegetables, bakery items etc. There's also a special icon under categories called Product Request where I can ask for items that I know that have or request a specific item such as Honeycrisp apples, as that variety has a short availability time frame. You put in your credit card info, the day and time (allow two hours from the time you place your order) you would like to pick up your order and submit the order. You receive an email back confirming receipt. If there's an item on your list that they don't have, they'll call you. You can pick up your order at the Customer Service Window at the store, or use their curbside service which available Tuesday through Saturday until 8 p.m.
Now that I have my ingredients in hand, preparation kicks into gear. It's one pan to make the sauce, a pot to cook the macaroni and a casserole dish. Although the recipe doesn't give a specific amount of people it feeds, you can probably feed 4-6. Give it a try, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
Notes: I've tried Wegmans Italian Classic pasta and find it an excellent product. I also like crushed tomatoes by Fattoria Fresca. The crushed tomatoes are made Jersey tomatoes. The tomatoes are available at Delicious Orchards, ShopRite and I believe Foodtown.
Eggplant and Macaroni Casserole
1 Tbsp. olive oil 1 garlic clove, minced
1 small/med. Eggplant, diced 1/2 tsp. dry parsley (fresh if you have it)
1 small/med. Zucchini, sliced 1/2 tsp. dry basil (fresh if you have it)
1 medium green pepper, chopped 1/2 tsp salt
1 medium onion, chopped 1/4 tsp. pepper
1 large can crushed tomatoes 1/2 tsp. dry thyme (fresh if you have it)
1 lb. box macaroni shells 2-3 oz. provolone cheese, diced
1/4 c. seasoned breadcrumbs 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
In a large skillet, heat oil. Add eggplant, zucchini, pepper, onion and garlic. Cover and cook 10-15 minutes stirring 2-3 times. Add tomatoes, thyme, salt pepper parsley and basil. Cook covered for 15 minutes or so (add a little water if too thick.). Boil macaroni in lightly salted water. Drain and return to pot. Stir in eggplant mixture and provolone. Pour in ungreased baking dish. Mix breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese together. Spread on top of casserole. Bake 15-20 minutes or until top is browned.
Preheat oven to 375°
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.