The pasta filling on its own was delicious, but adding the eggplant was amazing.
My older two kids would not generally eat eggplant on its own, so they chopped it up into there pasta and loved it. My youngest didn't want the eggplant, but that was okay as I was happy to take it. Some foods they are more likely to like later on.
This is a delicious family meal that suits both adults and kids, is super yummy and will definitely be made again in my house.
2-3 eggplant, sliced thinly lengthwise
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
500g pork and beef mince
425g can tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Grease and line a deep 23cm round springform tin.
Add macaroni to a large pan of rapidly boiling water and cook until just tender. Drain and place in a bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil to ensure pasta does not clump together, mix and set aside.
Arrange eggplant on trays, sprinkle with a little salt. Allow to stand for 20 minutes. Rinse well. Pat dry with paper towels. (This only needs to be done if your eggplant, when sliced, has a lot of black seeds inside).
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan. Cook the eggplant in batches in a single layer until golden on each side. Add more oil as required. Drain on paper towels.
Add onion and crushed garlic to the same pan and stir over low heat until onion is tender. Add mince and brown, breaking up any lumps with a spoon or fork as it cooks. Add the tomato paste, stir for 30 seconds, then add the undrained, crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper and stir well. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Set aside.
In a large bowl, place the peas, macaroni, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, egg and half of the parmesan. Use a spoon to mix, set aside.
Preheat oven to moderate 180C.
Place an eggplant slice in the centre on the base of your prepared tin. Arrange three-quarters of the remaining eggplant in an overlapping pattern to completely cover the base and sides of the tin.
Combine the mince mixture with the macaroni mixture, mix well to combine.
Carefully spoon the filling into the eggplant case, packing down well.
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