I do this thing every summer where I try and teach my kids how to prepare a complete meal on the, ha, chance they’ll ever go away. I mean, move out.

[Law & Order voice] What you are about to witness is that attempt with my twelve year old.

One Pot Eggplant and Mushroom Pasta

YUM eggplant pasta

First, let’s get this out there. You are going to dirty up three dishes, max. A colander, a big, heavy bottomed pot to cook in, and a bowl or platter to hold veggies, unless you’re some kind of weirdo who slops hot food on your counters. If so, then you must be one of my children.

Step One: open a bottle of wine. Go ahead a take a few sips to settle yourself, to be prepared. A relaxed chef is a better chef. Yes, it is too a saying, I just said it, didn’t I?

Napa,California Wine,Tetra,Cabernet Sauvignon

What you need aside from those dishes above:

  • a smallish eggplant, cut into ½ cubes, and no it is not necessary to get out a damn ruler, I know what you are doing by trying to drag this out, now get back in here. The distance between your knuckles is about right, unless you’re Andre the Giant.
  • 2 pints of mushrooms, sliced. And no, you don’t have to use the stems. Just waste them, like I’ve wasted my youth.
  • 16 oz. Bag of pasta, funny shapes are fine (Round is funny, according to Raising Arizona which is why I went with orecchiette) They’ll require you stir more frequently, though. YEAH, THAT MEANS MORE WORK, so put the companelle back.
  • 2 ¼ C water
  • 1 3/4 C marinara
  • several cloves of garlic. I used about four, but hey, whatever floats your boat. It’s not like I’m going to be kissing anyone. Yes, I love your father. Moving on.
  • salt, pepper, parsley, red pepper flakes..because I like red pepper flakes in my sauce, that’s why

Step Two: Drink a little more. Get the red pepper flakes back out of the spice pantry, she’s not as clever as she thinks.

Step Three: Put the diced eggplant in a colander, sprinkle with a bunch of sea salt not that much JFC, child and let it sit in the sink for about twenty minutes. Finish off that glass, let her watch Adventure Time, and go ahead and pour drink #2.


Step Four: Threaten to shut off the cable if she doesn’t get back in the kitchen. Mutter about smart alecs when she calls your bluff. God damn you, HBO. A little sip o’cabernet will take the edge off…

Step Five: Get the stove on medium high heat. Oh, you like that part, you little pyro? Hey, if this gets you interested in cooking— Okay. Yes, you turned it off and on again, and it makes a glorious whoosh. OKAY. JUST TURN IT ON AND LEAVE IT. Splash some olive oil in the bottom of the pan. No, a little more. Just a little—JUST A LITTLE BIT. No, it’s fine. It’s fine. It’s good for our hearts or something. So is red wine, come to think of it.

Step Six: Saute the eggplant and some of the garlic for several minutes until it starts to get some color. Yes I know you think this is boring, you’re making that perfectly clear. Just…hand me the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes. No, you can’t go watch TV because I need you for the next part.

mushrooms,cooking,cooking blog,foodie

Step Seven: Remove the veggies from the pot and put them on a platter. Since you’re using a heavy pot, you’ll probably need someone to scoop them out while you hold the heavy and hot pot over the platter or mixing bowl. I NEED YOU TO SCOOP OUT THE VEGGIES, THIS IS HEAVY. Oh my god, child, do not sass me about me working out, this pot weighs more than you think it does just scoop– Yes, of course I need you to get all the pieces. ALL OF THE— Thank you.

Step Eight: Into that hot pan add the dry pasta, pour the water and marinara over it, toss in a few pinches of salt and pepper and the RED PEPPER FLAKES.

foodie,pasta,marinara,sauce,food blog,cooking blog

Give it a good stir and let it come to a boil. It’s not going to boil right away. You’re going to have to wait. Oh, you’re very funny with the whole “If we watch it, it won’t boil” joke. Har.

Just… go sit down and watch TV. It’s FINE. I said it’s fine. I need another glass of wine, anyway. Mommy loves you. Mommy just loves her wine more right now…


Steven Nine: Oh, that’s better. And seriously, this is a super nice wine. Let me just offer you this advice: oh! Wait, it’s boiling. Okay. We… stir. Stir it good. Stir it up! Little darling… Put the top on like so, then set the timer for nine minutes. Nine… There. Okay. So let me tell you this: buy the best shoes and booze you can afford. Trust me. You know why? Because you’re worth it. We are worth it, you know? They don’t get how hard it can—

Oh, stir it again, just to keep it from sticking. Like, two more times. Here, you do that, and I’ll open us up a new bottle. Mmmm, yummy yummy.

Stpe Ten: Oh my gosh! I forgot fresh basil. I grow my own you know. I’ll just pop outside and grab some, you keep an eye on her. The pot. I don’t know, just look at stuff. Here, look at this:

basil leaves,garden of basil

Step elelvnity: All done, ding ding ding! Turn off the heat. No, you just turned it down, go the other way. Did you go the other way? Okay. Bite one pasta bit. All good? Hooray! Go get those veggies we cookies and dumps them on the top. Mixy mixy, just a bit more salt in there, the fresh basil, add some parsley.





You know what? They know how to microwave mac-n-cheese. That’s fine. They’ll be fine. I tried. They can microwave crap for themselves and we’ll eat this, you and me. Ooh, parmesan on top! Mm. And a li’l more wine in your glass… It’s like..

it goes with the food you know? It goes with life. It helps.

Oh my gosh, I need food in my stom—hiccup!–stomach before I get drnuk. Ha, good thing we made some, hmm? So good. It’s so good. No, they can do the dishes. Imma go lay down for a minute.

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