Eggplant and Pasta Parmigiana

Early autumn is a great time to try new ways of cooking the last of the summer harvest. There are still lots of tasty ripe tomatoes and eggplant and basil to be cooked. This is traditional Italian light parmigiana using eggplant and rigatoni with a good oven roasted tomato sauce. You will find the recipe for the tomato sauce at this link and it is a quick and easy way to cook all those ripe tomatoes and store the sauce in your freezer to use in so many dishes. A little effort taken to make a great tomato sauce will make all the difference to the parmigiana.

Eggplant and Pasta Parmigiana

IMG_20170328_112541- Eggplant parmigiana ingredients
Ingredients for the egglant and pasta parmigiana.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplants (900 g or so)
  • 250 g Rigatoni pasta
  • 2 1/2 cups of oven baked tomato sauce (see recipe at link above or use a good tomato sauce)
  • 2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 120 g Provola cheese (provolone, mozzarella tye cheese) cut into tiny cubes.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. Pre heat oven to 180º C F
  2. Slice the eggplants lengthwise into 1 cm slices
  3. Grill the eggplant slices ( I have used a George Foreman grill which allows us to use no oil)
  4. Cook the rigatoni pasta in salted boiling water for 10 minutes then drain well in a colander
  5. Return the pasta to the pot and drizzle with extra virgin oilive oil, carefully stirring well
  6.  Drizzle some tomato sauce over the base of a rectangular lasagna dish
  7. Line with slices of grilled eggplant filling in the gaps by cutting some of the smaller pieces to fit
  8. Cover with tomato sauce
  9. Sprinkle lightly with salt, freshly ground black pepper and cover with grated Parmesan cheese
  10. Scatter over the Provola cheese (I scattered the provola quite lightly but a little more could be used)

    IMG_20170328_113729-Eggplant parmigiana 2
    The first eggplant layer of the the parmigiana.
  11. Now lay the rigatoni pasta over the eggplant placing it lengthwise to cover the surface

    IMG_20170328_114919-Eggplant parmigiana 3
    The rigatoni pasta laid out over the eggplant layer.
  12. Spoon more tomato sauce over the pasta
  13. Sprinkle over freshly ground black pepper
  14. Sprinkle over grated Parmesan cheese and then scatter over with Provola cheese cubes
  15. Cover with another layer of grilled eggplant
  16. Spoon over more tomato sauce covering the eggplant well
  17. Lightly season with salt and ground black pepper
  18. Cover with a good amount of grated Parmesan

    IMG_20170328_120159-Egglant parmigaina 4
    The second layer of eggplant with the tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese partly sprinkled over the top.
  19. Bake for 30 minutes then check for browning and cover loosely with a sheet of foil if needed and cook for a further 10 minutes
  20. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for at least 15 minutes to rest before serving the parmigiana slices with a green garden salad
IMG_20170328_124559-Eggplant parmigiana 6
Eggplant and pasta parmigiana fully cooked.

 

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