Best. Ziti. Ever.
Baked ziti (from Williams-Sonoma, with my nondairy adaptations)
4 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound sweet Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 28-ounce can crushed plum tomatoes with juices
8 ounces ziti, cooled until al dente
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup rinsed chopped kalamata olives
2 cups shredded soy mozzarella cheese
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grated soy parmesan
Position rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
In a 10″ nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
Discard all the 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pan. Set the pan over medium-high heat and warm 2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
Set the pan over medium heat and warm the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion and cook until softened, 5 – 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minutes. Add the wine; increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up the browned bits. Cook until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Add the sausage, pasta, basil, olives, 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella and the tomato sauce to the bowl with the eggplant and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta mixture to a 9 x 13″ baking pan and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and the soy parmesan. Cover the pan, transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover the pan and broil at 500 degrees F fr 5 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6.