Spicy Eggplant and Chicken Pasta

A go to pasta dish is a necessity for week night meals. Something you can run into the grocery store and pick up the essentials without putting too much thought into it. A few of my favorites are this Red Wine Drenched Cherry Tomato Linguine, Shrimp Scampi and my very favorite, Lemon and Brussels Sprout Orzo.

This most recent go to features eggplant and chicken. It's simple, hearty and delicious. Now my fridge is stocked for the week.

Spicy Eggplant and Chicken Rigatoni 
makes 3-4 servings

1 eggplant
3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 medium yellow onion (diced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
2 cups fresh heirloom tomatoes (diced)
1/2 cup chicken stock (low sodium or homemade)
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover 2 baking sheets in foil.

Cut eggplant into 1 inch disks. Coat generously in salt, pepper and olive oil. Rub a little extra olive oil onto one of the baking sheets. Add the eggplant and pop into the oven for 20 minutes. 

Cut the chicken breast into 1 inch cubes and coat in olive oil, salt and pepper. Pop onto the second baking sheet and into the oven for 20 minutes. 

As the eggplant and chicken is baking, get the sauce going. In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper and half the oregano and pepper flakes. Let the onion cook down for 7 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, salt, pepper and remaining oregano and pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer and lower heat. 

After 20 minutes, remove the eggplant and chicken. Chop the eggplant into 1 inch cubes and add both eggplant and chicken to the sauce. Lower heat to very low. 

Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt generously once boiling. Add your favorite pasta. Linguine, angel hair or rigatoni will work. Whatever you have in the pantry. Cook to al dente. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the sauce before draining. Drain pasta and add directly to sauce. 

Mix to combine and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

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