Baked Pasta with Tomatoes and Eggplant

Bowl of pasta with eggplant and tomatoes
Prep Time
1h 10 min
3 servings

Leftover tomato and eggplant soup is tossed with cooked pasta, mozzarella and Parmesan, then baked until golden and bubbly.



Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
oz penne rigate and/or fusilli
cups Tomato and Eggplant Soup, recipe follows
oz fresh mozzarella, medium-diced
Tbsp freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese, divided
Tbsp unsalted butter, small-diced

Tomato and Eggplant Soup

Good olive oil
4 ½
cups (½-inch-diced) unpeeled eggplant
cups chopped yellow onion
cups chopped fennel bulb
Tbsp minced garlic
cups good chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 28
oz can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
tsp whole dried fennel seeds
1 ½
tsp dried oregano
tsp fresh thyme leaves
tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 28
oz can whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
Freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese, for serving


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 500°F. (Make sure your oven is clean!) Place three (6-inch) gratin dishes on a sheet pan and set aside.

Step 2

Boil a large pot of water, add a Tbsp of salt, and add the pasta. If you’re using one type of pasta, cook it for 1 to 2 minutes less than the directions on the package. If you’re using two kinds of pasta, start with the one that cooks longest and add the second later so they finish at the same time. You want the pasta to be quite al dente. Drain.

Step 3

Pour the Tomato and Eggplant Soup into a large bowl, add the cooked pasta, the mozzarella, 2 Tbsp of the Parmesan, 1 ½ tsp salt, and ¾ tsp pepper and toss well. Divide the mixture evenly among the three gratin dishes, dot the tops with the butter, and bake for 10 minutes, until hot and bubbly and the pasta begins to brown. Sprinkle each dish with 1 Tbsp of the remaining Parmesan, bake for another 4 minutes, and serve hot.

Step 4

Heat ½ cup olive oil in a medium (10 to 11-inch) pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, over medium heat. Add the eggplant and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. Add a little more olive oil if the eggplant is sticking.

Step 5

Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to the pot, add the onions and fennel, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, stirring often. Add the chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, fennel seeds, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, 1 Tbsp salt, and 2 teaspoons black pepper. Pour the can of whole tomatoes, including the liquid, into a food processor and pulse until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped. Add the tomatoes and the liquid to the pot. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot in large bowls sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

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