Eggplant is my favorite vegetables! Each year I grow eggplant in my garden, finding success with Japanese Eggplant varieties. Instead of just roasting eggplant (which I love), I wanted to try this Eggplant pasta dish and loved it!
EGGPLANT TOMATO AND MOZZARELLA PASTA BAKE
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound rigatoni
- 1 medium eggplant, diced
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- One 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
- 2 cups fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Nonstick cooking spray, for the baking dish
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
- 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season aggressively with salt. Add the rigatoni and cook 3 minutes less than the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and drain.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss the eggplant and tomatoes with 3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread on the baking sheet and roast until the eggplant is golden brown and tomatoes are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. (Leave the oven on.)
- Toss the rigatoni with the eggplant, tomatoes, about 1/4 cup pasta water and the marinara sauce in a large bowl. If it looks dry, add the remaining pasta water. Stir in 1 cup mozzarella.
- Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Transfer the pasta to the baking dish and top with the remaining cup mozzarella and the Parmesan and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon olive oil.
- Bake until the cheese is melted and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. (Turn the
broiler on at the end if you want the cheese to brown more.) Garnish with additional Parmesan and the chopped basil and serve.
Recipe from FoodNetwork.com