Eggplant, Fennel, and Sausage with Penne

I decided to use my crockpot for the first time in a long time yesterday. I think it turned out well.

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Ingredients:

  • 8 oz hot Italian sausage
  • 4 cups peeled and chopped eggplant
  • 1 large medium fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and sliced
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes with jalapenos
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup snipped fresh basil
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat until browned. Drain off fat.
  2. In a slow cooker, combine sausage and the next eight ingredients (through Italian seasoning). Cover and cook on low 6 to 7 hours or high 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
  3. If cooking on low, turn cooker to high. Stir in pasta and the basil. Cover and cook 30 minutes. Stir pasta mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook 10 minutes more. Let stand, uncovered, 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with additional basil. Serves 4.
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