Baked Pasta and Vegetables

Standard

This is only slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe – I didn’t have orzo, so I directly subbed the same amount of penne pasta (with the same amount of stock).

This makes enough for 3-4 generous servings.

1 large eggplant, diced about 1/2″ chunks
salt

Douse the eggplant in lots of salt and set aside in a colander to drain while you prep everything else.

1 medium carrot, diced very fine
1 small onion, diced very fine
1 rib celery, diced very fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c oil

8 oz of pasta or orzo, try using penne or fusili 
1 tsp tomato paste
1.5 c good vegetable stock
3 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
zest of one whole lemon
4 oz Daiya mozzarella
1/2 c of Galaxy parmesan
3 fresh tomatoes diced
plenty of salt and pepper

The eggplant needs to sit for about 30 mins, and then rinse and dry the pieces well. Heat a large frying pan on medium high and add the oil (olive oil or canola is fine), heat for no more than 30 seconds and toss in the eggplant. Fry for about 8 mins, stirring just a few times. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels, then add the carrot to the remaining oil and sautee for a couple of mins. Next, add the onion, celery and garlic and cook another 5 mins. Add the pasta (uncooked!) and the tomato paste and cook another couple mins. Remove from the heat and stir in the eggplant, oregano, cheeses, tomato, lots of black pepper and couple good pinches of sea salt and lemon zest, plus all of the stock. Line a deep-ish baking dish or casserole dish with parchment (this is optional, but it makes cleanup a lot easier) and pour in the pasta mix. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 mins at 350 F. Uncover and bake another 15 mins. Check the pasta is cooked enough.

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