eggplant pasta bake

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It is no secret that I love to eat, and especially tasty, filling comfort food. Yum, sooo good. Anyway, I also have eggplant cravings from time to time, and this is pasta bake is a winter favorite (even for the nonvegetarian husband). It’s also has a short-ish ingredient list and is easy to throw together without much fuss, so a win-win-win culinary scenario. 🙂

Here’s what you need (and forgive my lack of precision — it’s how I cook; plus I realize not everyone eats garlic/chili peppers/etc. in the quantities I use):

  • Olive oil, about 2 T
  • Onion, 1 medium, chopped
  • Garlic, 3 cloves, finely chopped
  • Red pepper flakes, 1/2 t
  • Eggplant, 1 medium, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Pasta, half a box, your choice (I used rigatoni)
  • Pasta sauce, your choice (I used a marinara with a little basil pesto)
  • Mozzarella cheese, 8 oz., cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Fine bread crumbs
  • Garlic powder, 1 t
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450F. Saute Items 2-5 in Item 1 until soft (about 15-20 minutes) on a medium-low heat. At the same time, cook the pasta until al dente. When the veg are cooked, add the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Next, in a large bowl, combine the sauce and veg with the pasta and the cubed mozzarella cheese. Transfer to an open-proof casserole. Top with fine bread crumbs/garlic powder/grated cheese. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes, until topping is lightly browned and cheese melted. Serves 4-6 and is great with a simple green salad.

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