Well, Spring is starting to finally make an appearance here in Utah. We had a few bouts with some cold weather, but fingers crossed, the warm weather is here to stay. It’s about this time of year that I start craving vegetables and lots of them. Today, I’m sharing with you one of my favorite healthy go-to lunches. Roasted Eggplant & Spinach Penne is both gluten-free and vegan.
I have tried a few gluten-free kinds of pasta in my day and I have two favorites. Red lentil pasta is one of them, but if you’re looking for something a little more “normal”, Barilla makes an excellent gluten-free line of pasta. Make sure that you pick a pasta that does not include eggs in order to keep this vegan if that’s important to you. Regarding your marinara, you can pick a good store bought brand that you like or you can make your own. I like to make my Old School Italian Gravy, however, I omit the meat products to keep it vegan.
This will hold for about a week in the fridge if you want to eat it for lunches during the week. One thing I have noticed with gluten-free pasta is that some do not reheat well. They have a tendency to break down quicker than regular pasta and will sometimes get crumbly after refrigeration. This recipe is really easy to make and is great for a weeknight meal. The roasted eggplant is “meaty” and the fresh spinach is a nice fresh addition to this delicious pasta. So grab your favorite marinara and pasta and get to cooking!
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Roasted Eggplant & Spinach Penne
- 1 medium eggplant, approximately 1 - 1 1/2 lbs
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 12 oz gluten free penne pasta
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach
- 3 cups marinara sauce, gluten free, vegan
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, foil or silicone liner.
- Cut eggplant into approximately 1" cubes and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Drizzle eggplant with 2 Tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper & oregano.
- Roast eggplant in the oven for 30 minutes until tender and set aside.
- In a medium pot, cook pasta according to package instructions, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water after cooking.
- In a large saute pan over medium-high heat add olive oil, roasted eggplant and baby spinach. Saute until baby spinach is just wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in marinara sauce and reserved pasta water and simmer for 2 minutes to heat the sauce through.
- Stir in cooked pasta and toss with the sauce to combine everything thoroughly.