baked baked eggplant pasta

The eggplant gets baked twice, get it? First by itself, then in the baked pasta dish. Baking is a more healthy way of doing eggplant than letting it soak up all that oil in the traditional comfort food frying method. Instead, some flavor is retained by smearing the eggplant with good olive oil before baking, contributing to the possibility of living longer to enjoy the eggplant later in life. No guarantees, but hedging your bets is a wise practice.

ingredients

the eggplant
1 large eggplant
olive oil
the sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
2 T olive oil
3 oz portobello mushrooms, chopped
1/2 c white wine
1 large can tomato puree
freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste
touch of cayenne red pepper
2 T fresh basil, chopped
the pasta
1 lb rigatoni
the assembly
2/3 c parmigiano cheese, grated
1/4 c bread crumbs

instructions

  1. Peel the eggplant and cut crosswise into 1/4 in slices, then the bigger disks into quarters and the smaller disks into halves. Rub olive oil on both sides of each piece and place on a foil lined baking sheet and broil a few minutes until it browns without burning.
  2. Start pasta water boiling.
  3. Start the sauce by sauteeing the chopped onion in the olive oil until translucent, then add the chopped mushrooms, mix and cook a few minutes. Add the wine and let evaporate. Add the tomato sauce and spices, except for the basil. Cook about 20 minutes. Near the end add the fresh basil.
  4. Somewhere in the middle of the pasta sauce the pasta water was boiling and the rigatoni went in. [Its a good practice to read ahead.] Cook until very al dente since more cooking will take place in the oven. Drain. Add a few spoons of sauce to the pasta.
  5. Put some breadcrumbs on the bottom of a casserole dish and some sauce. Now layer with pasta, eggplant, and cheese and sauce, about 3 layers. Top off with some whole basil leaves reserved from your initial basil stash. Bake 30 minutes at 350.

notes

  1. enjoy?
bbeggpp.htm: 2-aug-2001 [what, ME cook? 1984 dr bob enterprises]