Penne with Eggplant

(2 votes)

1 pound penne or small tube pasta
olive oil
1 large eggplant, unpeeled, cut in 2 x 1/2 x 1/2 inch strips
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
3 medium tomatoes, sliced across width
6 basil leaves

Cook pasta, drain, rinse with cold water, drain, and return to cooking pot. Toss with tablespoon or two of olive oil and set aside.

Lightly coat a 9 x 13-inch ovenproof casserole with oil and set aside.

Pour oil into large skillet to a depth of 1/2 inch . Over high heat, cook eggplant in single layer, in batches, until golden brown, stirring frequently with slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels. Add eggplant to pasta and gently toss to combine without breaking. Add mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmesan, salt, and pepper, and mix.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Arrange the tomatoes in single layer in prepared casserole. Sprinkle with basil. Spoon on the pasta mixture and smooth top. Sprinkle with remaining -1/4 cup Parmesan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil, turn heat to 425 degrees F, and bake 5 to 10 minutes, until top is golden and crusty. Serve hot.

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