Baked Ziti With Eggplant, Basil And Ricotta Recipe
- 400 g dried ziti, or other large tube shaped pasta, such as rigatoni
- 185 ml light olive oil
- 1 eggplant, halved and cut into 0.5-cm thick slices
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 small handful of basil leaves, torn
- 125 ml red wine
- 125 g ricotta cheese
- 45 g grated pecorino cheese
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- a baking dish, about 30 x 20 cm
- #Do not refrigerate tomatoes! Tomatoes picked before they are fully mature will keep on ripening and they do so correctly at room temperature. This sauce should be sweet and fruity so it’s the perfect dish to make use of tomatoes that have been sitting in your fruit bowl, turning all lovely, soft and very ripe. It’s important to use a light olive oil here; extra virgin olive oil burns at a lower temperature and will make the eggplant bitter and oily.# Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) Gas 7.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta ziti (Bucatini), and cook until al dente, or according to the packet instructions. Drain well and return to the warm pan.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and when it is hot, but not smoking, cook the eggplant slices, in batches, for 2 minutes on each side, until golden. Remove and place on kitchen paper.
- Repeat to cook all of the eggplant. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the frying pan, add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the tomatoes, basil and red wine, 250 ml water, season to taste and bring to the boil. Boil for 10 minutes, until you have a thickened sauce. Stir in the eggplant then add to the pasta, stirring well to combine.
- Put the mixture in a large baking dish. Spoon the ricotta on top, sprinkle over the pecorino and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until golden and crispy around the edges.