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  • Writer's picturealisonbonifacy

Eggplant and Ricotta Pasta

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

It might not be the most attractive looking dish, but this baked pasta is flavorful and light comfort food. It satisfies my husband’s craving for pasta without me worrying about stepping on the scale the next morning!

Make a big batch on Friday to enjoy reheated in the oven throughout a busy weekend, or on Sunday to have for a few nights during the week. Unlike some tomato sauce-based pasta dishes, this sauce doesn’t dry out. The chicken is a lighter alternative to ground beef, but you can leave out the chicken for a vegetarian version.

Cooking Chez Moi, eggplant recipes, baked pasta dishes, ricotta cheese recipes, comfort food, healthy pasta dishes

Eggplant and Ricotta Pasta

Servings: 6-8

Prep time: 40 minutes

Cooking Time: 35-40 minutes

2 small or 1 large eggplant (400 g)

1 large yellow or white onion

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons Kosher salt + more for pasta water

1-pound (500 g) rigatoni or other tubular pasta such as penne

1 garlic clove, minced

2 14.5-ounce (800 g) can of whole peeled tomatoes

1 15-ounce (400 g) can diced tomatoes

¼ cup chopped basil

8-ounces (1 cup or 250 g) ricotta cheese

¼ cup (30 g) grated Parmesan

1 large (250 g) chicken breast, cooked and chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 8-ounce (1 cup or 300 g) ball of mozzarella, shredded or sliced

Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C). Cut the eggplant (unpeeled) into 1/2-inch cubes. Roughly

chop the onion. Put the veggies in a bowl and mix with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Spread the vegetables out evenly on a large baking sheet/pan. Bake for 30 minutes then remove from oven.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water until al dente; about 12 minutes for rigatoni. Drain the pasta.

In the same pot you used for the pasta, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add the minced garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the can of diced tomatoes and the cans of peeled tomatoes. Use your hand to break up the whole tomatoes as you put them in the pot. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and the chopped basil. (You could also add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper for a kick) Let simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.

Stir the ricotta into the tomato sauce until there are no clumps. Add the cooked pasta, chicken, roasted veggies, and parmesan. Mix to combine.

Pour the coated pasta into a large baking dish. Cover evenly with the shredded mozzarella. Bake at 350° F (180° C) for 35-40 minutes until bubbly and the mozzarella is melted and slightly browned. Serve hot with a side salad. The pasta will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven covered with aluminum foil for 20 minutes at 320° F (160° C).

And bon appétit!

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