This Eggplant Pasta Bake is a thick, chewy casserole that shines the light on that poor, underused vegetable in american cuisine – the eggplant. What we like about this dish is the three distinct textures of the soft pasta layer, the chewy eggplant layer, and the crunchy topping layer. It’s a nice, comforting dish for cold days. But, consider breaking this recipe out again in the summer when eggplant is fresh at the farmers’ markets, or from your own garden.
- 1 medium - eggplant, cut into 1/4
- 1 Tbs - salt
- 2 28 oz cans - plum tomatoes
- 2 Tbs - dried oregano or Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup - whole wheat flour
- 1 16 oz pkg - whole-grain elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup - panko bread crumbs, plain
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F.
- Slice the eggplant into 1/4" thick slices. Sprinkle both sides of each slice with the salt and lay on a paper towel. The salt will draw moisture from the eggplant and the paper towels will absorb the moisture. Let rest for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, process the tomatoes in a blender until puréed, about 5-10 seconds. Pour the tomatoes into a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the oregano or Italian seasoning and the flour until no lumps remain. Salt to taste. Cover and let simmer while you prepare the pasta.
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and ladle it into a baking dish. Stir one cup of the tomato sauce into the pasta. Wipe the salt from the eggplant slices and lay them on top of the pasta. Pour the rest of the tomato sauce on top of the eggplant and sprinkle with the bread crumbs.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the eggplant is tender.
When buying panko bread crumbs, read the ingredients carefully. One brand that we've used successfully is Emeril's Original Panko Bread Crumbs
Nutrition (per serving): 309 calories, 80% calories from carbohydrates, 14% calories from protein, 6% calories from fat, 12.7g fiber.