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Ziti, Eggplant, and Fontina Gratin

Source: Quick From Scratch - Italian
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Rating: 2.5   Reviews: 3 See Reviews
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Active Time:  30 Minutes
Total Time:  30 Minutes
  Serves 4
Eggplant is sauteed in olive oil until it's creamy soft and then tossed with pasta and cheese. A quick stint under the broiler melts the fontina and browns the top.
7 tablespoons olive oil
1 large eggplant (about 1 3/4 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 pound ziti or penne
1/2 pound fontina cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
Ziti, Eggplant, and Fontina Gratin Recipe at
In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 4 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the eggplant and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the eggplant is soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic, parsley, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper and cook 3 minutes longer.

Heat the broiler. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until just done, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain.

Toss the pasta with the eggplant, the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the cheese and toss again. Transfer the pasta to a shallow baking dish or gratin dish. Broil until the cheese melts and starts to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

Eggplant Controversies:

*Cooks in Italy, as everywhere, disagree about whether or not eggplant should be peeled. It seems to be a matter of personal preference, but keep in mind that an eggplant that is overgrown or has been stored for a long time will have a tough skin that will not soften during cooking. It's often a good idea to peel it.

*Whether or not to salt and drain eggplant before cooking remains a matter of dispute, too. Some say you should salt slices heavily and drain them on paper towels for an hour to rid the eggplant of any bitterness; others feel it's an unnecessary step. What is indisputably true is that eggplant that has been salted and drained will absorb less oil during frying than eggplant that has not.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 4
Calories: 890
Fat. Total: 44g
Fiber: 18g
Carbohydrates, Total: 104g
Sodium: 1192mg
% Cal. from Fat: 44%
Cholesterol: 66mg
Protein: 25g
Spotlight Recipe Review See all 3 reviews »

Rating: 1
by: Mary Ann, NJ Reviewed: 05/09/2013
Too high in calories and sodium for me
I thought the recipe looked interesting and might be healthier, given the use of eggplant to add creaminess to the dish. Boy was I wrong--almost 900 calories per serving and the sodium level is almost 1200 mgs.I don't care how good this recipe might be. I am not making it for health and nutritional reasons.
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