Cookin’ with Carolyn Eggplant Sausage Casserole

Cookin’ with Carolyn Eggplant Sausage Casserole
1 pkg. (16 oz.) penne pasta
2 pounds bulk Italian sausage
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. paprika
1 carton (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
4 cups (16 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Set the sausage aside. In the same skillet, saute the eggplant and onion in oil. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, basil and paprika; simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain pasta; stir into eggplant mixture. Add sausage. Spread half of sausage mixture in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Spread with ricotta cheese. Top with half of the cheese and remaining sausage mixture. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese.Bake 5 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Yield: 12 servings. Enjoy.