Baked pasta with Eggplant and Mozzarella – townie
More eggplants for the csa. I think, I know I’m done with eggplants… This is it :). This was ok. I wasn’t a fan, too bland and mushy. The husband liked it ok. It’s not a keeper for us.
Baked pasta with Eggplant and Mozzarella
adapted from smitten kitchen
1 large or 2 small eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch dice
Salt and black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 celery stalk, in a 1/4-inch dice
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces mini farfalle pasta
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried oregano
zest of a whole lemon
8 ounces mozzarella cut into 1/3-inch dice
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
3 medium tomatoes, diced
Sprinkle your eggplant generously with salt and let it drain in a colander for 30 minutes. I used this time to get the rest of my ingredients ready. After 30 minutes, rinse it well and pat it dry on towels.
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil and once the oil is shimmering, add the eggplant. Fry for 8 minutes, stirring pieces occasionally. Using a slotted spoon or spatula, transfer them to paper towels to drain. Add celery and carrots to remaining oil and cook for 3 minutes before adding onion and garlic. Cook together for 5 more minutes on medium heat. Stir in the pasta and tomato paste and cook for two minutes more. Off the heat, add the oregano, mozzarella, parmesan, tomatoes, fried eggplant, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon table salt, many grinds of black pepper and the stock and mix well.
Transfer mixture to an ovenproof baking dish. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes, then bake 20 minutes without the foil. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.