You can create a gourmet main-course while preparing a delicious Zoom-Zoom Baked Ziti (ready to bake) for the next night's dinner. The trick? The prep for both dishes is done at the same time.
3 medium eggplants
3/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
454 g penne pasta
2 bottles (650 mL each) store-bought tomato pasta sauce
1 340 g ball part-skim mozzarella, grated, or 320 g grated part-skim mozzarella
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup lightly packed basil leaves
pinches (generous) black pepper
Preheat oven 375°F (190°C). Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Slice 2 eggplants into rounds, 1⁄2 in (1 cm) thick. Chop remaining eggplant into 1⁄2 in (1 cm) cubes.
For Eggplant Parmesan, whisk eggs in a shallow dish. Place bread crumbs and flour in separate shallow dishes. Add a couple of slices of eggplant to flour. Turn to lightly coat.
Shake off excess and place on a plate. Repeat with remaining slices. Working with 1 eggplant slice at a time, dip in egg, allowing excess to drip off; coat in bread crumbs. Generously coat a large non-stick frying pan with 2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil and set over medium heat.
When hot, cook eggplant slices until golden and almost tender, about 5 minutes per side. You will need to cook in batches. Do not crowd the pan. Adjust heat and add more oil to pan as needed.
While eggplant is frying, prepare penne for Zoom-Zoom Baked Ziti. When water is boiling, add penne. Cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Drain, then drizzle a little oil overtop and stir to coat.
Meanwhile, assemble Eggplant Parmesan by placing half of eggplant slices on baking sheet. Top each slice with a scant 1⁄4 cup (50 mL) tomato sauce and sprinkle with 2 tbsp (30 mL) mozzarella. Top each with another eggplant slice, then 1 tbsp (15 mL) tomato sauce and a small sprinkle of mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake until cheese melts and eggplant is tender, 15-30 minutes. Gently tear and scatter basil leaves overtop. Serve immediately. Great with Caesar salad.
While Eggplant Parmesan is baking, prepare Zoom-Zoom Baked Ziti. Return empty pasta pot to stove and set to medium heat. Add a tbsp (15 mL) of oil. When hot, add eggplant cubes. Sprinkle with pepper. Stir until tender, 3-5 minutes. Add remaining tomato sauce, penne and 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) Parmesan. Stir to mix. Turn into a greased 9 x 13 in (3 L) baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Cover with oiled foil, tenting so cheese doesn't stick. Refrigerate up to 2 days.
Calories 276, Carbohydrates 16g, Fibre 15g.
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