Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Italian Eggplant and Spinach Pasta~A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

I have another exciting Wednesday planned for everyone!
 Another friend is joining us in the kitchen and that always makes for a fun day.
Today, Tabitha from A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned is here with us.
Tabitha knows a thing or two about frugal living and she is also one heckuva cook!
I meet Tabitha through facebook and I just love her open-ness. She holds nothing back. She is honest and frank about all aspects of her life. Her tips on frugal-living and cutting back costs are realistic and she also shares amazing deals that she finds around the internet as well as neat little tips and tricks to help out with everyday costs.
I am definitely not an extreme couponer but I love that Tabitha gives you easy and small ways to save money and cut costs. 
And she also shares budget-friendly meal ideas. Now who doesn't love that?

I hope y'all will give a warm country to this lovely gal!
_______________________________________________

Thank you, Brandie, for allowing me to visit with your readers today. I hope they are in the mood to save some money! As our economy seems to spit and sputter and leave us feeling doomed by rising grocery prices, you can find some economic relief by serving a meatless meal once a week. 

 Meat can take a huge chunk out of your grocery budget. You can save money by keeping a price book of the cuts you buy most frequently and stocking up when you see a rock-bottom price, but you can also save by limiting the amount of meat you serve. 

Substituting beans or eggplant are great, frugal options. If your family prefers meat and potato recipes, start slowly by reducing the amount of meat and using the beans or eggplant to stretch the dish. Eggplant is a versatile vegetable that I often find marked down for quick sale. Having a porous texture, eggplant absorbs the flavors with whatever it is cooked making it an excellent filler.

Italian Eggplant and Spinach Pasta is a great beginner recipe. If you fear that your family will freak out at a dish of eggplant, you can easily subsititute ground beef or beans... cannellini beans would be my first choice. Now, let's get started.


Ingredients

1 box (16 ounces) pasta, any shape 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 medium eggplant, cubed 
1 onion, diced 
1 clove garlic, pressed 
1 can (15 ounces) petite diced tomatoes 
4 cups spinach, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dry oregano 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

1) Set a pot of water to boil for the pasta, following package directions to cook.  
2) Peel and cube the eggplant. Dice your onion.  
3) Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add your olive oil and when it shimmers, add your onion. 4) When the onion begins to soften, clear a spot in the middle and press your garlic into the center. Stir the garlic into the onion. (Notice the green in my garlic? That's not a good thing. Garlic that has begun to sprout will make your food bitter. Remove it and try again.)  
5) Add the eggplant to the skillet with 1 teaspoon of salt. Trust me... you want to salt your eggplant. Then, add the tomatoes, oregano and black pepper to the skillet. Stir. 

 
6) Coarsely chop your spinach while the eggplant mixture simmers. When the eggplant begins to soften, add the spinach. Cover until the spinach wilts slightly. Stir. 

 
7) Taste the eggplant and add remaining salt, if needed. 8) If you need more sauce, ladle a cup of water from your pasta pot. Drain the pasta and fold it into the eggplant mixture. 9) Top with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!
   
  Tabitha Philen is saved by grace, wife, mom of four, freelance writer, public speaker, homeschooler (one with Autism), strategic couponer and all around sleep-deprived perfectionist. She is also known as "Penny" where she blogs about frugal living at A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned and homeschooling at Growing Up Homeschooled.
________________________________________

Anyone hungry yet? I'd love a bowl of that right now!

Thank you so much to Tabitha for sharing this affordable and tasty recipe with us today!

I really hope you'll take some time to check out her blog. 
You can also find Tabitha hanging out on facebook where she is very active posting the latest and great deals of the day.

And if you prefer, she can also be found on Twitter!

Enjoy!

13 comments :

Meeling said...

Looks and sounds great! LOVE eggplant!

Pretend Chef said...

This looks so delicious. I'd love a bowl of this pasta right now. Eggplant and spinach sounds amazing.

Penny said...

Thanks for having me, Brandie! I am so happy to be able to share a little with your readers!

Mama J said...

Oooo... this is my kind of pasta! I'll be making this one for sure!

Aarthi said...

This looks so yummy...Soon will try this...I am bookmarking this...YUM YUM...Thanks for the recipe dear...
-
Aarthi
http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/

Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. said...

Great guest post! Everything about this is fantastic!! I love all the yummy veggies in this pasta!

thetravellingchopsticks said...

What a fantastic looking dish! I love eggplant! But apparently my boyfriend is alergic...i think it is more that he 'thinks' he is!hmm but don't want to risk it...this will be something I will be making for myself soon! Thanks for a lovely post!

Becky said...

I have never cooked eggplant before, but I bought one today. I can't wait to make your pasta. Great guest post, and nice to meet you.

Erin said...

I love all the veggies in with this pasta! Eggplant goes so well with pasta. Great guest post!

Susan @ sshilo4@aol.com said...

Thanks Brandie...this looks amazing! I made something similar using zucchini! I know I will love your version!!

Annie Oakley's Kitchen said...

Great guest post! I love eggplant and am always looking for different ways to incorporate it besides Eggplant Parmesan.

Lisa said...

Sounds great! Love eggplant and spinach and they're great in pasta. Have to try this!

Linda said...

I love the idea of using eggplant as part of the sauce and spinach as part of the sauce. Looks delish! Thanks for sharing!