Valentine’s Day is on our minds this week, and if we were staying in for a homemade meal, we’d want it to be a little bit spicy and a little bit sweet, just like our love (lol). Now personally, I am trying to get OUT of the kitchen in exchange for date night at a fancy restaurant, but if you’ve decided to opt for a date night in this February 14th, try whipping up our take on a Spicy and Sweet Sausage and Eggplant Arrabbiata. This comforting dish is full of flavor and will keep you coming back for more (plus it pairs well with a rustic Italian red wine). Pump up the heat with some added red pepper flakes and serve with crusty homemade garlic bread and a simple side salad and you’ll make this one a Valentine’s Day to remember.
What’s your go-to Valentine’s Day meal when cooking at home? Our Short Ribs recipe is a winner, too! We’re heading to Mastro’s Ocean Club in Boston’s Seaport District so my night is reserved for a filet Mignon and some lobster mashed potatoes; photos cannot be guaranteed.
Sausage & Eggplant Arrabbiata
- 1 box whole wheat linguini
- 1.5-2 lbs of spicy Italian sausage and sweet Italian sausage (I used two large spicy sausage links and one large sweet sausage link – depends whether you prefer it more spicy or sweet)
- 2 medium sized eggplants, peeled
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 2 red peppers, sliced
- 1 jar of Rao’s marinara sauce
- fresh parmigiano
- 1/2 tbsp capers
- olive oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- salt and pepper
- red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Cut off the top of the eggplants and peel the skin off with peeler; slice lengthwise and crosswise to form 1″ pieces
- Place in a bowl, lightly coat with olive oil and salt, toss to coat
- Coat baking sheets with nonstick spray and arrange eggplant pieces to lay flat
- Slice red peppers thinly and place on baking sheet
- Roast peppers and eggplant in the oven for 35-45 minutes, checking and flipping as necessary so they don’t burn but the eggplants turn golden brown
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat, add sliced onions and saute, stirring frequently, until caramelized
- Remove casings on spicy and sweet sausages (I used 2 spicy links and 1 sweet link). Crumble and add to a separate, large nonstick pan with olive oil and minced garlic (I used my dutch oven for this). Cook sausage on medium-high heat until browned, pour in a jar of your favorite tomato sauce and simmer.
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook linguine according to package directions; drain and set aside
- Remove eggplant and peppers from the oven. Combine roasted peppers, eggplant, caramelized onions, linguini and capers with the sausage and tomato sauce mixture, stir to combine
- Add red pepper flakes and fresh parmigiano cheese as desired, serve with warm bread and a salad!