It’s Wednesday night. You’re exhausted from a long day of work and a seemingly longer commute. You’re starving when you get home. You’ve got some veggies, pasta, and pasta sauce laying around. Oh! And some pre-cooked chicken sausage. While you’re VERY tempted to call for take out, the guilt of wasting all those veggies sets in and you can’t help but figure out what to do with them. Well, look no further: this midweek pasta dinner comes together in less than 30 minutes and makes a huge amount of food. So if it’s just you and your partner, you’ll have dinner and lunch for each of you for the next 2 or 3 days. It sounds like a win-win.
You can easily make this dish vegan by taking out the sausage or replacing it with a vegan sausage from Tofurkey or Light Life. You can also substitute the cheese with a vegan version.
Easy Veggie Pasta with Chicken Sausage
Serves 6 to 8
- 1 lb of fusilli or rotini pasta
- 1 lb of green zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise and then cut into 1/4 inch pieces crosswise
- 1 medium eggplant (about 3/4 lb), cubed, lightly salted, and set in a colander to drain
- 1/2 lb of cherry tomatoes
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced or processed through a garlic press
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil or vegetable oil
- 1 24 oz jar of marinara sauce of your choice (I use Rao’s Marinara)
- 1 package of Boar’s Head Italian Chicken Sausage (precooked, 4 links), or pre-cooked sausage of your choice, cut into quarter inch slices on the bias
- 1/2 c. shredded pecorino romano (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- italian flat leaf parsley (for garnish, optional)
In a large pot, place water and a handful of salt to boil as you prep the ingredients as listed above. In a large saute pan, heat the oil on medium heat. Once it shimmers, you’re ready to cook the veggies and garlic. If your pan isn’t large enough, you may have to cook your veggies in batches.
Start with your eggplant since it will take the longest to cook. You’ll be able to tell they’re done because the flesh will turn a light brown and the cubes will have some give to them (i.e. they’ll be a little squishy). Remove to a large bowl where you’ll eventually toss all of the ingredients together. Then cook the zucchini and cherry tomatoes with the garlic on medium heat until the tomatoes blister. Throw those in the large bowl with the cooked eggplant.
By now, the water should be boiling. Add in the pasta and cook according to the instructions on the box (usually 7 to 9 minutes). As the pasta cooks, warm up the sliced sausage with the pasta sauce in the large saute pan on medium heat until it simmers.
Once the pasta is done, drain it and throw it into the bowl with the veggies. Then pour in the sauce and sausage on top. Toss all of the ingredients together with a large wooden spoon or spatula until everything is coated in the sauce. You can either top the individual dishes with the shredded cheese, or you can fold the cheese into the pasta before serving (which is what I do).
Serve into individual bowls and serve with a green salad. Enjoy!