Make this Eggplant Parmigiana Pasta Bake with Ragu Pasta Sauce and your family will think you spent all day crafting dinner for them! #ad – Today’s post is sponsored by Ragu Pasta Sauce, by my family’s love for their pasta sauce is all my our own! Visit the campaign landing page to discover the Ragu heritage story. #simmeredintradition #ragu – Plus scroll down and enter to win $25 Paypal CASH!
I can remember my grandmother canning tomato sauce when I was a young girl. She spent hours processing tomatoes in the hot kitchen in August so that her tomato sauce could be enjoyed all year long. I love my grandmother’s recipes, but I’ve never been much for making my own sauce.
Did you know that Ragu began in a home kitchen, too? This is the ultimate home-cook success story. Aussanta Cantisano immigrated from Naples, Italy to Rochester, NY and brought with her the traditions from the old country. She planted a garden in her backyard, and began making sauce and sharing it with friends and neighbors. During the Great Depression, she helped her family overcome difficult times by selling her homemade tomato sauce. That determination reminds me of my own grandmother, who overcame many obstacles in life to be a highly regarded member of her community. She never wavered in her principles. Neither did Aussanta. In fact, today Ragu is still made the same way with vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh farm grown ingredients. The sauce contains no artificial flavors, no artificial flavors and no high fructose corn syrup. By the 50’s and 60’s, Ragu had become a popular product.
These days, my husband often makes small-batch tomato sauce, having the kids climb onto a kitchen table to help stir the pot. His family also came from Naples, Italy several generations ago. But me? I’d rather open a jar of quality tomato sauce and spend the time on something else. That’s why I like to keep a few jars of Ragu Pasta Sauce in my pantry. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.
Week night dinners don’t have to be boring or mundane. This Eggplant Pasta Bake is a delicious combination of flavors. Since eggplant often absorbs the flavors of what it is served with, it’s a great way to sneak some veggies into your meal. Using Ragu means I have more time to spend enjoying the meal with my family, instead of standing over the stove forever.
Being the cheese lover that I am, I’m a big fan of the Ragu Cheese Creation Pasta Sauces. For this recipe, I used Ragu Cheese Creations Parmesan and Romano. There are lots of varieties to choose from, so check out the Ragu site, or your local grocery store and find your favorite.
Eggplant Parmigiana Pasta Bake with Ragu Pasta Sauce
- 1 lb. ziti pasta
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion minced
- 2 large cloves of garlic minced
- 1 small eggplant peeled and cubed
- 1 cup Ricotta cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 3 basil leaves chopped fine
- 1 jar Ragu Pasta Sauce I used Cheese Creations Parmesan and Romano
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to directions on the box.
In a large skillet, cook the onion in 3 tablespoons olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and eggplant. Sautee until the eggplant is tender.
In a bowl, combine the ricotta, basil and mozzarella cheese. Mix well.
Combine the pasta and eggplant and toss to coat in the Ragu Pasta Sauce.
In a large casserole dish, spread some of the Ragu pasta sauce on the bottom to keep the pasta from sticking or burning. Add 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, top with pasta and repeat once more, ending with pasta.
In a small skillet, melt the butter and heat the olive oil. Add the panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese and toast until golden brown, stirring often. Spread the mixture over the top of the casserole.
Bake at 350-degrees until for 15-20 minutes.
Serve hot and enjoy!
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