Eggplant and Pasta Incaciata is a traditional Italian dish that can be as varied as homemade tomato sauce. Some variations will contain chicken livers, some will have ricotta cheese, some use bread crumbs and some will use different pasta. The trick is to make it your own!
2 med.-lg. eggplant (or 1 med. eggplant and 2 Chinese eggplant)
1cp extra virgin olive oil
1 box penne pasta
2lb. Italian sausage
**16ozs. tomato sauce
1/2 grated Romano cheese
1 1/2cps. shredded mozzarella cheese
**(I used homemade tomato sauce that I had previously canned so it already contained garlic and herbs. If you are using plain tomato sauce be sure to add garlic, basil, oregano, sea salt, and cracked pepper to taste.)
Boil pasta and cook until just al dente. Drain and set aside.
Heat saute’ pan or grill to med. high heat. Thinly slice eggplant (vertically). Brush each side with olive oil. Saute or grill both sides until slightly limp. Set aside.
Brown sausage over med. high heat until cooked throughout, set aside.
Lightly oil the sides and bottoms of a springform pan. Layer bottom and sides of pan with eggplant allowing pieces to hang over the sides.
In a bowl combine pasta, meat, Romano cheese, and tomato sauce.
Pour pasta mixture into the eggplant lined pan and smooth. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of pasta and cover with eggplant pieces that are hanging over the rim.
Heat oven to 350*. Remove plastic wrap and weight. Cook approximately 45 min. Allow to rest 10-15min. prior to cutting.