Eggplant Penne alla Vodka

IMG_5877I have always enjoyed the spicy and creamy flavors of the traditional Penne alla Vodka recipe. This is a delicious vegetarian version of that minus the heavy cream and pancetta to keep it a little lighter on the waistline. I added the eggplant to bring additional nutrition and flavor to the dish, as well as, swapping the Parmesan out for Feta as it complements the eggplant well. I use whole wheat penne as I personally prefer it by taste and the nutritional value but use whatever type your family prefers to eat! This recipe comes together quickly once the eggplant is roasted. Feel free to roast it sometime prior to dinner time as it can quickly be re-heated once it is added into the sauce and penne mixture. Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

 

Eggplant Penne Alla Vodka
Serves 2
A healthier vegetarian version of this Italian classic. The addition of roasted eggplant and feta to the classic spicy and creamy flavors of this dish give it an extra edge.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Medium Eggplant, Cubed
  2. 1-2 T. Olive Oil
  3. 2 Cloves Garlic, finely diced
  4. 1 Small Onion, diced
  5. 28 oz. can Italian whole peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
  6. 1/2 t. Crushed Red Pepper
  7. 1/2 C. Milk
  8. 1/4 C. Vodka
  9. 8 oz. Whole Wheat Penne
  10. Feta -to taste (Buy the block and crumble as needed for better flavor and freshness)
  11. 1 T. Oregano, chopped (optional)
  12. Kosher salt - to taste
  13. Freshly Ground Black Pepper - to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Toss cubed eggplant in 2 t. olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Roast in oven for roughly 20 minutes until eggplant is soft and edges are caramelized.
  3. Fill medium saucepan with 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Cook Penne to al dente, it will be tender but firm to the bite. The whole wheat varieties take 10-11 minutes usually.
  4. Meanwhile heat 1 T. Olive Oil in Large saute pan or skillet.
  5. Add onions and saute until soft and translucent, around 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more until golden.
  6. Next add the chopped tomatoes and crushed red pepper to the onion mixture and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Stir in the milk and cook for 1 minute while stirring continuously. Lastly, add the vodka and cook 2-3 more minutes. Season to taste with salt.
  8. Add the drained penne into the sauce along with the roasted eggplant. Gently mix together and portion.
  9. Top each portion with crumbled feta and chopped fresh oregano to complete. Enjoy!
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