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
- 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
- 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
- Start pasta water boiling.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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°.