Are you always on the hunt for ideas for weeknight dinner ideas that are (1) quick and easy, (2) healthy-ish, and (3) NOT boring? Me too, friend. Me too. And this recipe is ALL those things. Plus, it's crazy delicious! I know, I know. It sounds too good to be true. But sometimes, just sometimes, the universe actually comes through with something great. So trust the universe, and make this pasta tonight. You and your taste buds can thank me later.
Pasta with Harissa-Spiced Eggplant and Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup (packed) julienned sun-dried tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium eggplant (about 8 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium shallot, minced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons Five-Chile Harissa Spice Blend
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
8 ounces short pasta
Ricotta, for serving (optional)
Place sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl and add just enough olive oil to cover. Set aside and allow to soften slightly, about 10 minutes.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of the olive oil from the tomatoes and heat until just shimmering. Add the minced shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly softened. Add the garlic and Five-Chile Harissa Spice Blend and cook another 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the eggplant and the sun-dried tomatoes with their remaining oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and bring the sauce to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and flavors have melded. Season to taste with kosher salt.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Use a slotted spoon to transfer pasta to skillet with sauce and mix gently to coat. Add pasta water a tablespoon at a time to reach desired saucy consistency.
Serve immediately, topped with a dollop of ricotta, if desired.