Eggplant Rigatoni Bake
- 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large American (globe) eggplant
- 3 c tomato pasta sauce
- 1 c small curd cottage cheese or ricotta
- 6 oz Rigatoni pasta
- 3/4 c grated Romano cheese (or similar hard salty cheese)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Peel eggplant (optional) and cut into 3/4 inch dice.
- Use the olive oil to lightly oil a large griddle or skillets.
- Turn the griddle/skillets on medium heat and warm them. Add the eggplant in a single layer. (You may have to work in batches.) Cook 4 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Remove from heat.
- Cook the Rigatoni in boiling, salted water until al dente, according to package directions. Drain.
- In a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish, ladle 1 cup of the sauce and spread it on the bottom.
- Place half of the Rigatoni in a layer on the sauce. Spread half of the cottage cheese on top.
- Sprinkle one-quarter cup of the Romano cheese over the cottage cheese and then, half of the eggplant.
- Repeat all layers once more.
- End with all of the remaining sauce and an even sprinkling of the remaining Romano.
- Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes. Serve hot.