Cheesy Spinach and Eggplant Baked Penne
A cheesy, veggie-packed pasta bake with a healthy dose of whole grains and spice. Recipe adapted from the SkinnyTaste cookbook, page 254
Servings Prep Time
8 15minutes
Cook Time
35minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 15minutes
Cook Time
35minutes
Ingredients
  • 1cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1tablespoon olive oil
  • 4cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 (16 oz.)eggplant cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 1/2cups canned, diced tomatoes
  • 2tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 12ounces whole grain penne
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to a large pot of boiling water. Cook pasta to 4 minutes less than the package instructions for al dente. Drain pasta.
  3. Combine ricotta, 1 cup of mozzarella and parsley in a medium bowl. Season with red pepper flakes as desired.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Add eggplant and spinach. Season with salt and black pepper. Cook until eggplant is golden and spinach wilted, about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes and basil. Reduce heat to low and cook until eggplant is tender, another 5 minutes.
  6. Add half of the pasta to the greased baking dish. Top with one-third of the sauce. Spread ricotta mixture evenly over the pasta.
  7. Add the remaining pasta and then the rest of the sauce. Top with 1 cup of mozzarella and all the Romano. Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove foil and bake for an additional 6-7 minutes until mozzarella is melted and the edges are slightly browned. ***For added crispness, broil on high for 1-2 minutes.
Recipe Notes

Use pre-minced garlic (1/2 teaspoon equals 1 garlic clove). I always keep a jar handy in my fridge to boost flavor and save time.

If using canned tomatoes seasoned with basil, you can forgo the fresh basil.