Eggplant Baked Pasta
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 big servings, 6 smaller servings
2 medium sized eggplants
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 pound penne or other short pasta
1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce (I used Rao’s)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
About 1 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
Preheat the oven to 350F. Chop the eggplant into large bite-sized pieces that are all approximately the same size.
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil with the garlic and crushed red pepper in a large non-stick skillet. When the garlic begins to sizzle (about 1-2 minutes), add the eggplant. Stir to coat all the pieces in the olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and then leave it alone, stirring only occasionally to brown all the pieces (takes about 20 minutes).
While the eggplant is cooking, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook according to the package directions for al dente. Drain the pasta, return to the pot, and add 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat the pasta and prevent it from clumping.
When all the pieces of eggplant are cooked through (test some before deciding), pour them into a large 9 x 13 baking dish. Add the pasta, and stir both together. Add the marinara sauce, and again stir to combine. Then add the mozzarella, and stir again. Add the ricotta by the spoonful on top. Sprinkle the top with grated parmesan. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes until the mozzarella and ricotta are melted.
Spoon onto dishes (or bowls) and serve.
Change it up:
- Use more or less eggplant
- Use more or less pasta
- Try a different vegetable, like zucchini
- Use more cheese (you really can’t use too much)