I love this recipe because it takes a fresh pasta dinner with traditional Italian ingredients and turns it into a completely different dish for the next day's meal.
For the eggplant:1.
Place the eggplant in large non-reactive bowl. Add the lemon juice, cover with cold salted water and soak eggplant for 10 minutes.2.
Drain eggplant and place on paper towels.3.
Lightly dust cubed eggplant with flour and season with salt and pepper.4.
In a large sauté pan, heat a nice coating of oil and fry the eggplant until crisp. Remove and let drain on paper towel, taste and season if necessary.
For the ground beef:
In a sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and lightly cook till soft, then add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add white wine, if using, and cook until reduced by half.
Add ground beef and cook until browned, season with salt, pepper, red pepper and oregano, then drain and set aside.
For the pasta:1.
In a large pot, heat the tomato sauce.2.
In a second large pot, bring salted to a boil and add pasta, stir and cook till al dente.3.
Drain pasta, leaving a little of the pasta water, and add to the tomato sauce, stir, season to taste and add butter.4.
Mix in Parmesan, mozzarella, 1/2 of the ricotta and ground beef and stir. Top with eggplant and serve.
For leftovers the next day:1.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Coat a springform pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.2.
Place the leftover pasta in a bowl, mix in the remaining ricotta and season with salt and pepper to taste.3.
Firmly press the pasta mixture into the prepared springform pan. Top with Parmesan and mozzarella and bake for about 45 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.