Meatless Monday – Grilled Eggplant Parmesan Pasta


With all of the hot, dry weather this summer, eggplant is rivaling zucchini’s abundance!  Besides babaganoush, what’s a cook to do?  This recipe was originally published in Hannaford’s fresh magazine.  I just love the combination of smokey eggplant and creamy mozzarella, all pulled together with store-bought sauce.

I know that garden tomatoes are bountiful right now and you certainly could use homemade tomato sauce if you have it on hand, but the idea behind this recipe was ease.  Many folks in the south and west have already headed back to school; with only six ingredients, this recipe can be cooked up in about the time it takes to cook and drain the pasta.  Love it!

Grilled Eggplant Parmesan Pasta
adapted from Hannaford fresh magazine, July-August 2009

1 lb. dry rigatoni
1 (24-oz.) jar favorite pasta sauce
1 eggplant, about 1 lb, peeled
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, diced
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Preheat grill. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and stir well. Cook 10 to 12 minutes,stirring occasionally, until just tenderor al dente. Drain and return to pot.  While pasta cooks, warm sauce in a saucepan over medium heat. When sauce is simmering, reduce heat to low.

While sauce heats, cut eggplant lengthwise into 1-inch-thick slices. Lightly spray both sides with cooking spray. Grill eggplant until well marked on both sides, 4 to5 minutes per side. Roughly chop grilled eggplant.

Add eggplant and sauce to cooked pasta. Toss well.  For each serving, start with sauced pasta then add a portion of fresh mozzarella, top with more sauced pasta, Parmesan and parsley.  Serve immediately.

Alternatively, the pasta, sauce and cheeses can be layered into a serving bowl and served family-style.

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