Eggplant and Ziti Parmesan

Yields: 4 servings

Prep Tip: eggplant needs to drain 30 mins; dish can be prepared in advance through step 6.

1 1/4 lbs. eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/4-in. rounds
salt and pepper
8 oz. ziti
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 Tbl. oil
1 1/3 c. ricotta (or cottage cheese)
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 c. minced fresh parsley or 1 Tbl. dried
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. hot pepper flakes
2 c. tomato sauce

1. Sprinkle eggplant with salt. Place in colander. Drain 30 mins. then rinse and pat dry.

2. Combine oild and garlic. Smear on eggplant slices. Then sprinkle the slices generously with pepper.

3. Broil eggplant slices 4 in. from heat, turning them once, for a total of about 5 mins.

4. Cook ziti al dente. Drain and rinse.

5. In large bowl combine ricotta, parsley, basil, oregano, pepper flakes, and all but 2 Tbl. of parmesan. Toss in the pasta.

6. On bottom of a 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce, add half of the ziti mix, then half of the eggplant slices, then half of the remaining tomato sauce. Repeat ziti, eggplant and sauce layers. Top with the reserve 2 Tbl. of parmesan.

7. Cover the casserole and bake it in a preheated 400 degree oven for 30 mins. Remove the cover and bake foar another 15 mins. or until the top is lightly browned.

P.S. I added a sprinkling of grated mozzarella to the layers.