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Baked Ziti with Roasted Eggplant and Basil: A vegetarian baked pasta recipe layered with roasted eggplant, homemade tomato basil sauce and ricotta cheese.
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Baked Ziti With Roasted Eggplant and Basil

A vegetarian weeknight pasta dish layered with roasted eggplant, homemade tomato basil sauce, and ricotta cheese.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Eggplant Baked Ziti, Vegetarian Baked Ziti
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 458kcal

Ingredients

For the Roasted Eggplant

  • 2 medium-sized eggplants cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes optional

For the Baked Ziti

  • 16 ounces ziti pasta or any other tubular pasta *
  • vegetable spray
  • 2 cups homemade tomato-basil sauce divided
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta preferably homemade
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves chopped – plus more as garnish
  • 1 cup fresh or dry mozzarella cheese, freshly grated

Instructions

  • For the Roasted Eggplant: Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place the eggplant cubes on the baking sheet. Drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle it with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using). Give it a toss and make sure that the eggplant is distributed evenly on the baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Be sure to give it a gently toss halfway through the roasting process for even roasting. Set aside to cool.
  • Do not turn the oven off.
  • For the Pasta: 10-15 minutes before the eggplant is ready, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and ziti. Cook until it is al dente, 8-9 minutes. Drain the pasta, place it in a large bowl. Stir in the tomato-basil sauce.
  • Mix together the ricotta and chopped basil in a bowl and set aside.
  • To assemble: Spray a large (mine was 9X13) oven-proof casserole dish with vegetable spray, making sure that the sides of the dish is coated with the oil.Place half of the ziti at the bottom of the casserole dish. Spread half of the eggplant cubes evenly on top. Dollop with half of the ricotta-basil mixture and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella.
  • Repeat the same steps for the second layer: Spread the rest of the ziti and roasted eggplant evenly as a second layer. Dollop with the rest of the ricotta-basil mixture and sprinkle the top with the rest of the mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese on top is browned.
  • When ready to serve, sprinkle it with fresh basil leaves. Serve immediately.

Notes

Like it is with any pasta dish, this baked ziti is best when served on the day that it was baked. However, you can store the leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container, warm up in the microwave, and serve on the next day.

Nutrition

Calories: 458kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 240mg | Potassium: 610mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 666IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 2mg