An eggplant and tomato sauce is served over ziti pasta with cheesy pita pockets on the side.
INGREDIENTS (for 6 servings):
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 eggplant, peeled and cubed
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1 1/4 teaspoons white sugar (optional)
- 1 (16 ounce) package dry ziti pasta
- 3 pita bread rounds, cut in half
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 (7 ounce) jar jarred roasted red pepper, drained and cut into strips
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the eggplant until tender. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, pepper, and sugar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes. Mix the roasted red peppers into the skillet with the eggplant mixture, and continue cooking 15 minutes.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place ziti pasta in the pot, cook 9 to 11 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Spread the insides of the pita pockets with equal amounts of butter, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange pitas on a baking sheet, and bake 5 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly brown. Serve the eggplant and tomato sauce over the cooked ziti with toasted pitas on the side.