With the weather getting colder, any excuse to turn on the oven is a good one. I loved the texture of how this turned out. It will work best with a plump eggplant–it doesn’t have to be huge and long, just plump. In other words, those skinny Japanese eggplants will not work for this (though I do love them for other dishes!).
Cooking time: 15 minutes prep time (including the prep in Step 3) and about 25 minutes baking time
- 1 plump eggplant (mine was about 7 inches long and four inches in diameter)
- olive oil
- garlic powder
- good quality bottled tomato sauce (I like Newman’s Own)
- freshly grated Parmesean (optional)
- Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 3/4 to 1 inch thick pieces. Score the skins with the tip of your knife.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350. Coat the bottom of a glass baking dish with a thin film of olive oil. Lay eggplant slices on the bottom of the dish (face down for the end pieces). Rub a little bit of olive oil on the tops (you shouldn’t need more than a tablespoon for all of this). Sprinkle with garlic powder and freshly cracked pepper.
- Bake about 10 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and pour tomato sauce over the eggplant (about 8-10 oz). Put the dish back in the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes more, or until the eggplant can be easily pierced with a fork.
- Turn on the water for boiling your pasta when you put the dish in the oven the second time. Cook until al dente. Serve a slice of eggplant and sauce over the pasta. Top with cheese if desired.