This recipe can be done partially in advance do there’s not much left to do just before your guests arrive. Prepare the eggplant and the tomato and garlic sauce the day before your party. Just before your guest arrive cook the pasta and continue the recipe from there—it will be a breeze and your guests will be wowed by this tasty dish.
1 head garlic, outer papery skin removed
2 tablespoons light olive oil
2 medium eggplants, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon each oregano & basil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 medium tomatoes, peeled & diced
12 ounces small pasta like shells or bowties
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, checked and chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cut 1 inch off the top of the garlic head and place the whole bulb in a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with oil and close foil over the bulb. Bake 1 hour in a 350 degree oven.
In a medium bowl, combine eggplant, vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, oregano, basil, and pepper. Mix thoroughly and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Remove garlic from the oven and turn up the heat to 400 degrees. Place eggplant mixture and the marinade in a baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
Separate roasted garlic cloves, squeeze garlic into a dish and set aside. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan. Add tomatoes and sauté for 10 minutes. Stir in roasted garlic then remove from heat.
In a 4 quart pot, bring water to and boil and cook pasta 10-12 minutes. Drain pasta and toss with roasted eggplant*. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Cover cheese with tomato and garlic sauce mixture and sprinkle with parsley. Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
*if you prepped your vegetables in advance, remove them from the refrigerator and let them come back to room temperature.
Wishing you an enjoyable, tasty and relaxed Chanukah!