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
A few years ago I watched the Rachel Ray episode where she made this dish, sharing it was one of her husband’s favorites. It’s easy peasy and so delicious! It reminds me of a pasta with bacon that I made when the kids were small. Delicious!
PASTA WITH CHARD AND BACON
1 large bunch or 1.5 pounds large, leafy Swiss chard
1/2 pound meaty bacon
2 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1 onion, white or yellow
4 cloves garlic
salt & pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons thyme
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup stock, optional
1 pound spaghetti
1 cup pecans
about 3/4 cup heavy cream
about 1 cup grated Pecorino cheese, plus more for serving
- Gather your ingredients.
- Place a large pot of water on to boil for pasta.
- Stem the chard. Chop the stems. Coarsely chop the greens and keep separate.
- Stack the bacon and cut the bacon into batons 1/8 to 1/4-inch wide.
- Peel and chop the onion. Halve the leek lengthwise and trim the tough green tops. Run the leek under the water and wash thoroughly. Chop the leek, whites and light greens. Peel the garlic and grate or chop.
- Heat a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and render, then remove from pan, if desired. Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings in pan, drain off excess if there is any.
- Add EVOO or butter to pan and add the stems, onions, leeks and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and thyme and soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add wine and stock if using and let it absorb.
- Salt boiling water and cook pasta to 1 minute less than package directions for al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup starchy water.
- Toast nuts while pasta cooks in small skillet over moderate heat.
- Add cream to sauce, wilt the greens into stems and add a little nutmeg. Return bacon to pan. Drain pasta and add to sauce and greens with reserved water and cheese. Toss pasta 1 minute. Adjust seasoning and serve topped with chopped toasted nuts and pass more cheese at table.
Recipe adapted from RachelRay
Fall brings the bounty of tomatoes, basil and much more. Older daughter, Megan, told me about a roasted tomato and pesto sauce she made. I tweaked it a bit to serve my tastes. I love the idea of adding pesto to a rich, red tomato sauce. It was delicious and definitely a new recipe for my collection.
ROASTED TOMATO AND PESTO SAUCE
1 pound Italian sausage, cooked and drained
3 cups roasted tomatoes and peppers, cooled and blended (recipe below)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, diced
Cube of pesto (about 1/3 cup)
26.5 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, chopped or blended
1 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh, chopped basil
1 pound cooked pasta (I used bow tie pasta) and 1 cup of pasta water
Parmesan Cheese (optional)
- Core and slice tomatoes. Halve and remove seeds from peppers.
- Arrange the tomatoes and peppers on a heavy cookie sheet (I line with parchment paper). Drizzle with Avocado oil and sprinkle with sea salt or kosher salt.
- Roast at 400 degrees until the edges of the vegetables start to char and are cooked through.
- Blend the mixture to a smooth consistency.
- Cook and drain the sausage. Drain and set aside.
- Sauté onions in olive oil and when almost cooked through, add the garlic. Continue to salute until garlic is cooked through.
- Add roasted tomatoes and peppers, pesto, San Marzano tomatoes, water, basil and sausage.
- Heat thoroughly.
- Add 1 cup of pasta water to sauce. Stir. Add drained, cooked pasta, and stir to mix thoroughly.
- Serve with Parmesan cheese.
Ham Bone Soup was a recipe I found in a great cookbook given to my by my brother-in-law, Ron, and his wife, Cathy, many years ago. I was use left-over ham bones to make the broth, just like my Mother taught me. This particular recipe was a favorite of the entire family and I was sad when my cookbook and this recipe disappeared from my kitchen.
Many years later, my sister-in-law, Betty, found the recipe copied down by my late Mother-in-Law on a recipe card and gave it to me. God bless them! It was great to make the soup again, although I substituted Quinoa pasta for regular pasta. I cook the pasta separately and add to the soup when ready to serve, otherwise the pasta tends to fall apart.
Without the pasta added, the soup freezes well.
HAM BONE SOUP
3 quarts water
1 ham bone
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 package (10 oz.) frozen whole corn
1 package (10 oz.) frozen lima beans
1 16 oz. can black-eyed peas
1 16 oz. can chopped tomatoes
2 cup macaroni or pasta of choice
salt and pepper
- In a large soup pot, combine water and ham bone and simmer for 1-2 hours.
- Add carrots, celery, onion, corn, lima beans, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, salt and pepper.
- Cook until vegetables are cooked through, about a hour.
Caprese Pasta? With smoked mozzarella? OMG…I had to try this recipe found on Iowa Girl Eats. I rarely eat wheat pasta but this was worth the splurge!
8 oz. bow tie pasta (or pasta of choice)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sungold (cherry) tomatoes, halved
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons pesto (reference Pesto recipe or purchase)
1 cup cubed smoked mozzarella cheese (or mini mozzarella balls)
extra basil leaves for garnish
- Prepare pesto and set aside. Cook pasta in salted, boiling water until just under al dente then drain and set aside. Place an oven rack to the very top, then preheat broiler.
- Heat oil in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add cherry tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, then toss and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add cooked pasta and pesto then toss to combine. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top then place skillet under the broiler until cheese melts. Using a pot holder, remove skillet from oven then sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and fresh cracked pepper. Serve immediately.
Slightly adapted from Alexandra Cooks; and Iowa Girl Eats