Double Eggplant Parm Baked Ziti
Eggplant Parm or Baked Ziti? How about both?! This recipe adds up to a meal that that is a real crowd-pleaser.
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
- 2 medium eggplants, 1 peeled and chopped, 1 thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1/4-1/3 cup milk or cream (eyeball it)
- 1 pound ziti (pasta with lines) or rigatoni
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs (3 generous handfuls)
- 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary (4-5 sprigs), chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 can crushed tomatoes or crushed fire-roasted tomatoes (28 ounces)
- A handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 cups provolone cheese, shredded
Heat the oven to 500°F and place a large pot of water on to boil. When the water comes to a boil, salt it liberally and add pasta. Cook the pasta to al dente, reserving some of the pasta cooking liquid before draining.
Place the chopped eggplant on a nonstick baking sheet. Pour about 1/4 cup of the EVOO in a small dish then, using a pastry brush, coat the eggplant with EVOO. Season the pieces liberally with salt and pepper and place in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes until the eggplant pieces are dark and tender.
Pre-heat about 1/4 cup EVOO in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Beat the eggs with the milk or cream in a wide, shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. In another shallow dish, combine the grated cheese with the breadcrumbs and rosemary. Dip the eggplant slices in the egg mixture, then coat them in the breadcrumbs. Cook in the hot skillet for 3-4 minutes on each side, working in two batches if necessary. Drain the eggplant slices on a paper towel-lined plate and reserve.
Remove the chopped eggplant from the oven and switch the broiler to high. Put the roasted pieces into a food processor and process them until they’re smooth.
Pre-heat another large skillet over medium heat. Add in the remaining two tablespoons of EVOO and the garlic, red pepper flakes and the processed eggplant. Cook for about one minute, then add tomatoes, parsley and some salt.
Toss the drained, hot pasta with half of the tomato-eggplant sauce and a ladleful of the pasta cooking liquid. Spread half of the pasta out in a baking dish and top it with half of the breadcrumb-coated eggplant.
Add the remaining pasta to the baking dish and top it with the rest of the breadcrumb-coated eggplant. Pour remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with provolone cheese. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.