Just finished making this pan of Ziti with Eggplant Meat Sauce. The eggplant gives the sauce such a woodsy type flavor. Just try it! I used a box of Flora Penne Rigate #21 for this recipe which is actually just a smaller ziti.
One Box of Penne Rigate #21
One 14.5 oz. can Diced Tomatoes
One 14.5 oz can Hunts Tomato Sauce
One 6 oz can Hunts Tomato Paste
One 15 oz. Ricotta Cheese
8 Oz. Chop Meat
One 8 oz. Mozzarella Cheese, diced
One Medium Eggplant, peeled and diced
1/2 Onion, diced
3 Cloves of Garlic, diced
1/2 Pepper, diced
In a bowl, add your ricotta cheese, egg and parsley. Stir well and put in the fridge.
In a Dutch Oven or heavy pot on medium heat, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the bottom and toss in the diced eggplant. Stir for about 5 minutes and then add your chop meat. Stir well. Add in the onions and peppers and continue to stir for a couple of minutes. Next, add garlic and stir for about 3 minutes. Add the can of diced tomatoes and stir for 3 minutes. Add the can of Sauce and the can of Paste. Stir and cover for 5 minutes. Now add your Oregano, Parsley and Basil to taste, along with Salt & Pepper. Stir it well and then lower the heat to the lowest setting and cover. Let it just stay on low for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, put on your pot of water for the Pasta. Cook Pasta a little bit el dente.
In a baking pan, pour a little sauce on the bottom. Drain your pasta once it is done cooking.
In a large bowl, add cooked pasta, a ladle of sauce, the ricotta mix and 3/4 of the Mozzarella Cheese. Stir well. Now dump the bowl into the baking dish. Add the rest of the Mozzarella Cheese to the top and also some Parmesan Cheese if you want.
Cover with foil and bake on 350 for 45 minutes.
*You could also just put this together and bake before you are ready to eat. It can be made a day or two before.