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Baked Aubergines (Eggplant) with Pasta

ingredients

serves 4
250 g (8 oz) penne, or other short pasta shapes
4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
2 aubergines (eggplant)
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
425 g (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
2 tsp dried oregano
60 g (2 oz) Mozzarella, thinly sliced
30 g (1 oz) 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
2 tbsp dry breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
salad leaves, to serve

method

1. Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water, adding 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. When it is almost tender, drain the pasta in a colander, return to the pan, cover and keep warm.

2. Cut the aubergines (eggplant) in half lengthways. Score around the inside with a knife, then scoop out the flesh with a spoon, taking care not to pierce the skin. Brush the insides of the aubergine (eggplant) shells with olive oil. Chop the flesh and set it aside.

3. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion until it is translucent. Add the garlic and fry for 1 further minute. Add the chopped aubergine (eggplant) and fry for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes and oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is thick. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Remove from the heat and stir in the reserved pasta.

4. Brush a baking sheet (cookie sheet) with oil and arrange the aubergine (eggplant) shells in a single layer. Divide half the tomato mixture between the four shells. Arrange the Mozzarella on top and cover with the remaining mixture, piling it into a mound. Mix together the Parmesan and breadcrumbs, and sprinkle over the top, patting it lightly into the mixture.

5. Bake in the preheated oven, 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6, for 25 minutes, until the topping is golden brown. Serve hot, with a green salad.

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