Pasta and aubergine bake
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Serves:     people
Notes from Anna

This simple pasta bake with its rich tomato sauce,  aubergines and mozzarella is sure to become a family favourite.

You can leave out the pancetta if you prefer, it will still taste delicious.  Any leftovers of this easy-to-make classic taste even better warmed up the following day.



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  1. Rinse the aubergines and top and tail them. Peel them and cut in half lengthways then slice each half into 5mm slices. Put the aubergine slices into a colander, sprinkle with sea salt and set aside.
  2. Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel and bash the garlic.
  3. Warm 1 tablespoon of oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and 1 clove of garlic, sprinkle lightly with salt and cook until the onion has softened.
  4. Add the pancetta, stir and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes or until the pancetta has become a very pale pink.
  5. Pour in 2 tablespoons of red wine and let it bubble for 1 minute. Pour in the passata, rinse the bottle with 250ml of water and add to the pan.
  6. Season with a little salt and a generous grinding of black pepper. Turn the heat down to very low and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
  7. TURN THE OVEN ON TO 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas 4
  8. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
  9. Meanwhile, rinse the aubergine slices under running water and pat dry with kitchen paper.
  10. Warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan or shallow pan with a lid. Add the remaining clove of garlic and when it turns a golden colour add the aubergine.
  11. Sprinkle with the oregano, cover with the lid and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the aubergine sticking to the pan.
  12. Drain and dice the mozzarella.
  13. Remove the garlic cloves from the tomato sauce and aubergines.
  14. Drain the pasta and put it back in the pan. Dress with a ladle of tomato sauce and 1 tablespoon of parmesan to prevent it sticking together.
  15. Put a ladle of tomato sauce into the bottom of a 25 x 32cm baking dish. Add half the pasta in one layer. Arrange the aubergines on top then sprinkle with the mozzarella pieces. Cover with a couple of ladles of tomato sauce then add the remaining pasta. Pour the remaining tomato sauce on top of the dish and sprinkle with parmesan.
  16. Bake for 15 -20 minutes or until the parmesan has melted and the sauce starts to form a light crust. Turn the oven off and leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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