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Mediterranean Baked Pasta with Eggplant and Sausage

Courtesy Joy Bauer
Servings:
6
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(78)

Chef notes

Indulge in the mouthwatering flavors of the Mediterranean in this delectable dish. It features an array of textures and flavors that render each forkful an unforgettable adventure. The sauce features a creamy base of roasted red pepper hummus, which perfectly harmonizes with the cubes of roasted eggplant and savory poultry sausage. To crown this culinary creation a masterpiece, consider adorning your dish with garnishes like fresh herbs, sliced olives and crumbled feta or goat cheese. Prepare to be transported to the sun-soaked shores of the Mediterranean with every scrumptious bite!

Technique tip: It’s important to save 1 cup pasta water for the finished sauce.

Swap option: Any variation of sausage works, from andouille to chicken-apple sausage.

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Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant, cut into 1/2-to-1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • cups roasted red pepper hummus (10-ounce container)
  • 4 pre-cooked poultry sausage links
  • 1 (14-ounce) box cooked and drained pasta of choice (rotini, penne, farfalle, fusilli, spaghetti, etc.)
  • optional garnish: herbs and crumbled feta cheese or goat cheese

Preparation

1.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

2.

Place eggplant cubes in casserole dish and drizzle on olive oil. Mix around to coat the eggplant pieces. Sprinkle on garlic powder and kosher salt and push to the outer perimeter to create a well in the center. Add the roasted red pepper hummus to the open center. Mist the eggplant with oil spray so the tops are glistening, and place the casserole dish in the oven (positioned on middle rack) and bake for 25 minutes.

3.

While it’s in the oven, slice poultry sausage links into 1/4-inch discs. When the eggplant is at the 25-minute mark, open the oven and scatter the sausage pieces over the eggplant and hummus. Cook another 10 minutes to heat the sausage and continue to cook/soften the eggplant.

4.

Remove casserole dish from oven. Stir everything together to create a thick, chunky sauce. Mix in cooked pasta, adding in small increments of the reserved pasta water to create a perfectly creamy and saucy consistency. It’s very important to only add 1/4 cup at a time, so you can stop when you reach a desired consistency. You will not need all of the water.

5.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with herbs and optional crumbled feta cheese.