Thin slices of eggplant form the covering for this robust baked pasta from our new book, Canadian Living Cooks (Random House, 2003), which features a collection of favourite recipes from our show on Food Network Canada.
- Portion size 10 servings
- 2 eggplant (about 8 oz/50 g each)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 cups rigatoni pasta
- 1 jar (750 ml) pasta sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz/250 g)
- 1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
- 1/3 cup grated romano cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
- 2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
Cut eggplants lengthwise into 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick slices. Layer in colander, sprinkling each with salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse each layer to remove salt; pat dry.
In skillet, heat 2 tsp (10 mL) of the oil over medium heat; fry eggplant slices, a few at a time, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side, adding more oil as necessary. Drain well on paper towels.
Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook rigatoni until tender but quite firm, about 7 minutes. Drain well and return to pot. Add pasta sauce and mozzarella, Asiago and Romano cheeses; stir to combine. Stir in thyme, pepper and rosemary; set aside.
Lightly brush 8-1/2-inch (2.25 L) springform pan with olive oil. Sprinkle with half of the bread crumbs. Line side of pan with overlapping slices of eggplant, making sure each extends to rim of pan and leaving no gaps. Cover bottom with overlapping slices of eggplant. Spoon pasta mixture into pan, pressing lightly. Sprinkle with remaining bread crumbs. (Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes; refrigerate until cold. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Uncover and add 15 minutes to baking time.)
Cover with foil. Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven until steaming, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes. Run tip of knife around pan to loosen. Invert onto serving platter and unmould.
Nutritional facts <b>Per each of 10 servings:</b> about
- Sodium 585 mg
- Protein 13 g
- Calories 330.0
- Total fat 16 g
- Cholesterol 28 mg
- Saturated fat 6 g
- Total carbohydrate 34 g
- Iron 11.0
- Calcium 22.0
- Vitamin A 11.0
- Vitamin C 10.0