Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan Baked Ziti

My inspiration for this meal was 5-fold.

1. We had some eggplant from our garden.
2. I love eggplant parmesan.
3. I hate making eggplant parmesan.
4. We are trying to sell our house and anytime we fry anything, the house smells like fried food for days on end.
5. I am trying to use up all my pantry items (see #4) and had lots of breadcrumbs on hand.

My solution was a baked pasta with all the flavors and textures of eggplant parmesan, without the hassle.

3 small/medium eggplant
1 lb pasta (I used whole wheat penne)
olive oil
salt & pepper
2 tbsp minced rosemary
4 tbsp minced basil
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese
1 jar marinara sauce (Here in Nebraska, my tomatoes are big and beautiful, but green. If they were ripe I might have attempted to make a sauce...maybe.)

Preheat the oven to 350. Get some water boiling for the pasta. Meanwhile, slice the eggplant about 1/4 inch thick, place it on a baking sheet, and season with olive oil, salt, pepper, and half the chopped basil and rosemary. Reserve the rest for the bread crumbs.

Bake the eggplant for about 10 minutes at 350, until just tender. Mix the bread crumbs with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and the reserved basil and rosemary. Set aside.
When the water is ready, boil the pasta a couple of minutes less than recommended on the package. Drain and toss with the marinara sauce. In a 9x13'' casserole dish, layer half of the pasta/sauce and top with half of the eggplant arranged in a tight layer. Sprinkle the eggplant with about half a cup of mozzarella/parmesan cheese. Repeat with remaining pasta, eggplant and cheese. Top with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 until the bread crumbs are toasty and brown. For me it took 25-30 minutes.
The reviews from the family were pretty good, and it did taste like eggplant parm, without the mess or the lingering smell.


wirrek said...

Looks yummy! Good for you!

KAJ said...

Sometimes I wish this blog just had a "like"button...