Baked Ziti Casserole

(8 votes)

2 medium eggplants
2 large zucchini
1/2 cup olive oil
1 pound ziti or penne
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 28 ounce cans whole tomatoes
1/4 cup basil leaves, in strips
1/4 cup chopped parsley
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup grated parmesan

1. Peel the eggplants. Cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices, sprinkle with salt and put in a colander to drain. Pat dry. Slice the zucchini.

2. In a skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil and fry the eggplant and zucchini until browned on both sides. Take them out of the pan and drain on paper towels.

3. Cook the ziti in boiling salted water. Drain and set aside.

4. In a saucepan, heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Pour into the bowl with the drained ziti.

5. Rub two shallow baking pans with olive oil. In the first pan, put 1/4 of the ziti, then 1/4 of the eggplant and zucchini. Dot with butter, add 1/4 of the mozzarella and then 1/4 of the Parmesan. Repeat the layers in that pan and do the same in the second pan.

6. Bake one of the pans in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes until the top is brown and crusty. Cover the other pan tightly with aluminum foil and freeze. Defrost before baking.

Each pan will make 4 to 6 servings.

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