Rebounding with last-minute penne

So what happens when you walk into the kitchen with a half-baked plan? You end up baking something else altogether.  I was all set to whip together a quick green curry with chicken and eggplant, but I neglected to check the pantry beforehand. No coconut milk. Green curry was off the menu. But what to make? I was fixated on eating that eggplant.

Last minute penne with eggplant and more

The good news is it’s entirely possibly to start cooking at 5:45 and still produce a decent meal when you have a pressure cooker. With the clock ticking, the game plan went something like this:

— Start a pot of water on to boil; add whole grain penne

— chop up the eggplant, sprinkle with kosher salt (and pat dry about 5 minutes later); chop up half an onion, two cloves of garlic

— heat olive oil and a splash of red wine in the pressure cooker; add the eggplant, onions and garlic. Add a jar of puttanesca sauce. Top with the lid and cook for 12 minutes at low pressure.

— When time is up, add 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes and  2 T. capers to the sauce; mix in the drained penne and a cup of arugula.

— Put the pasta in a casserole; top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 20  minutes.

— Listen to husband rave. 😉

It all worked just fine until son #1 returned home:

“Why did Mom put cheese sticks on the pasta?”

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