Rachel Ray: What’s for dinner…Sicilian Eggplant Marinara over Penne

rachel ray

So I am still learning to cook. I think I will always be a student in the kitchen luckily I am a teacher outside of the kitchen. I have a new love the farmer’s market. I never got my act together before and ventured down the road to attend. The one near us is open from 2-6 on Tuesday which is nap time. I now know it is worth the balancing act of grabbing the kids right after nap and getting dinner starting  in oder to; run over there and get my produce. It is cheaper than the grocery store and it stays fresher longer. The most important reason is my son gets to meet the people behind the food. He also gets to pick out what veggies we are going to eat during the week. We have discovered that purple peppers are his new favorite food. Yeah!!

I picked this recipe to add to our menu because it uses an egg plant and they are $1.00 at the market

Sicilian Eggplant Marinara over Penne

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (twice around the pan)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Coarse salt and black pepper, to taste
  • A handful chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 20 leaves fresh basil, torn or coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound penne rigate, cooked until al dente
  • Shaved or grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Asiago cheese, for topping


Preheat oven to 425°F.

Cut several small slits into one side of the eggplant with the tip of a sharp knife. Place eggplant directly on oven rack in the center of the hot oven, slit-side up. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Gently remove skin with a sharp knife; it should pull away easily. Using a food processor, grind the peeled eggplant into a paste and take to the stove in the processor bowl.

Heat a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add oil and garlic. When the garlic speaks by sizzling in the oil, add eggplant paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add parsley tomatoes, and basil. Heat the sauce through and toss with cooked penne pasta. Top with grated cheese, and serve immediately.

This week we are also going to unfreeze a Rachel Ray recipe that I made a couple of weeks back. I will do this so my husband has dinner ready when I am at work.  This is the one that I turned my huge turkey into several meals. We ate one batch of this and now we have another one, Yummy, cheap, and easy!

The Turkey CORN Chili

This recipe serves four people. I would double the recipe and take 1/2 of this meal place 6 cups in a freezer bag and freeze it flat in your freezer for another night. This is also a great meal to swap with a friend. It is cheap, easy, and yummy. This will only use 3lbs of your turkey.

CLICK HERE to See Rachel Make the Turkey Corn Chili


  • 1 tablespoon (1 turn around the pan in a slow stream) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper, red or green, chopped (use up leftover pepper strips from crudite tray if you have them)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
  • 1 1/2 pounds light and dark meat cooked turkey meat, diced
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons (a palm full) chili powder
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons (a palm full) ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons (several drops) cayenne pepper sauce
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels or leftover prepared corn
  • 1 (32-ounce) can chunky style crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups prepared chicken stock or broth, paper container or canned
  • 2 scallions, white and greens, chopped


Heat a deep pot over medium high heat. Work close to the stove for your chopping. Add oil to your pot, 1 turn of the pan, and add vegetables as you chop them.

Add bay leaf and cook vegetables 5 minutes, stirring frequently, reducing heat if veggies start to stick. Stir in diced turkey meat and season with chili powder, cumin, and cayenne sauce. Season with a little salt, to taste. Add corn, tomatoes, and broth. Combine your chili well, adjust seasonings, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes. Garnish chili with chopped scallions.

I wanted to let you in on a trick make two batches and freeze one. I also try to trade meals with people. It cuts down my cooking time and we get to try something new.

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