Eggplant and Ziti Parmesan
1 1/4 lb. eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices crosswise
8 oz. ziti
1 tablespoon oil
1 large clove garlic, crushed (I use much more)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1-1/3 cup part-skim ricotta or low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan, divided
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley OR 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)
2 cups tomato sauce* (or more)
Sprinkle the eggplant with salt. Place the eggplant in a colander, and let it
drain for 30 minutes. Rinse the eggplant, and pat it dry.
Cook the ziti al dente according to the package directions. Drain and rinse the
pasta, and set it aside.
Combine the oil and garlic, and smear it on the eggplant slices. Then sprinkle
the slices generously with pepper.
Broil the eggplant slices about 4 inches from the heat, turning them once, for a
total of about 5 minutes. (You may have to do this in 2 batches.)
In a large bowl, combine the ricotta or cottage cheese, all but 2 tablespoons of
the Parmesan, the parsley, basil, oregano, and pepper flakes. Toss the cheese
mixture with the ziti.
On the bottom of a 2-1/2 to 3 quart casserole, spread a thin layer of tomato
sauce, add half the ziti mixture, then half the eggplant slices, then half the
remaining tomato sauce. Repeat the ziti, eggplant, and sauce layers. Top with
the reserved 2 tablespoons of Parmesan.
Cover the casserole, and bake it in a preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Remove the cover, and bake the casserole for another 15 minutes or until the top
is lightly browned.
Preparation Tips: Note that the eggplant needs to drain for half and hour, Since
the eggplant is salted to remove bitter juices, and the grated cheese contains
salt, no added salt is needed.
*If you do not have homemade tomato sauce handy, consider using a commercial
variety with no salt added. You can prepare this dish in advance until it is
ready to bake.