Gluten-free eggplant pasta bake
Inspired by Giada De Laurentiis
- 3/4 cup gluten free penne, dry
- 1/2 medium eggplant, cut into 1/4" slices
- 1 cup perfect marinara sauce, or preferred tomato sauce
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp dry oregano
- Pinch o' red pepper
- S&P, to taste
The instructions are the same as in Giada's recipe, except that I used a round 8" Corningware dish and I ladled more sauce over the top layer of eggplant to keep everything moist. Also, check it after about 40 minutes - if it looks dry, add a little more sauce. Check to see if it's cooked through by piercing it with a fork; if there's little to no give, it's done!
I was super nervous about making this because I really wasn't sure how it'd turn out. For all I knew, the gluten-free pasta could have fallen apart and the eggplant could have turned into eggplant chips. Luckily, the oven did its magic and everything was cooked to perfection.
I know there's some debate as to how much you have to change a recipe in order to call it your own, so I definitely give credit to Giada's recipe since that is what got my creative juices flowing. I really liked the eggplant in place of tomatoes; it tasted vaguely like eggplant parmesan without the grease and cholesterol.
The thing I liked most about this dish was that the pasta was sticky and slightly crisp around the edges. It reminded me of the baked rigatoni I had so much growing up. My favorite part of baked pasta is the little clumps! I was very satisfied with how this came out and I'm glad I decided to make it gluten-free so more people can enjoy it.
Time for some gentle yoga and relaxation to ease into the new (busy) week.