This dish is a recipe I created based on several ingredients that I happened to have and needed to use. I harvested three Japanese eggplant and a bowl full of heirloom tomatoes from my garden and wanted to use them while they were still fresh. Also, while visiting our friends Joshua and Erika Spence over the 4th of July, we stopped at the Winter Park farmers market and bought whole wheat mafaldine pasta from the Pappardelle’s Pasta stand. I had been waiting for the perfect time to use the pasta and decided not to wait any longer.
To make this dish, you need the following ingredients:
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Japanese eggplant, cut into 1/2 in pieces
- 3 zucchini, cut into 1/2 in pieces
- Tomatoes (I used three medium-sized tomatoes and five small, slightly larger than cherry tomato-sized, tomatoes), quartered
- 2 bell peppers (I used one red and one yellow pepper), chopped
- 8 oz Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 26oz jar pasta sauce (I used Field Day Organic Roasted Garlic pasta sauce)
- 1/2 lb whole wheat pasta (I used mafadine, but a farfalle, ziti, or rotini would work well too)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Saute the onion and garlic in about two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Then add the eggplant and the zucchini. Saute for five minutes.
Add the diced tomatoes to the pan and cook for another five minutes, stirring gently to distribute the heat. Add salt and pepper.
Stir in the jar of pasta sauce and turn the heat down to low. Simmer the vegetable mixture for 10 to 15 minutes minutes, stirring occasionally.
Prepare the pasta according the the directions on the package while the vegetable mixture simmers.
When the pasta has finished cooking, add the pasta to a 9 by 13 inch baking dish and cover with the vegetable mixture. Stir to mix well.
Top the pasta and veggies with a layer of mozzarella cheese.
After adding the mozzarella cheese topping, bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the cheese turns a light golden brown color.
Serve and enjoy.
This dish is reminiscent of a spaghetti casserole, but the tomatoes make the sauce is a bit more vibrant than I typically find in a casserole and the whole wheat pasta complements the dish well without dominating the flavor. The whole wheat pasta also holds up well with the hearty sauce and vegetables.