Many years ago, I used to make this pasta dish for dinner parties; the eggplant lined cheesecake pan made for a pretty presentation of a tomato and cheese baked pasta and was easy to serve. It was also something that everyone loved; a real crowd pleaser unless you were gluten-free and dairy-free. I would make this for my guests but couldn’t eat it because it was loaded with gluten and dairy; two things I couldn’t tolerate even before I went vegan. Flash forward many years later when good tasting vegan cheese and gluten-free pasta became readily available, and I spruced this recipe up to make it Steph acceptable. Now every time I make this recipe, I gobble it up and enjoy it whole heartedly with my guests. This recipe is so delicious and impressive with little effort. You will need a cheesecake pan to pull this off!
- 2 medium eggplants
- 1 pound of gluten free rigatoni (I like Bionaturae brand)
- 2 jars of tomato sauce (I like the Rao’s brand, but you can also make your own)
- 1/3 cup of vegan butter (I like Miyokos brand)
- 2 cups vegan mozzarella (I like Violife brand)
- ¼ cup grated vegan parmesan cheese (I like Follow Your Heart brand)
- ½ cup grated cheddar cheese (I like Violife brand)
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons gluten free plain breadcrumbs
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Slice the eggplant diagonally into ¼ inch slices.
- Saute the eggplant slices in olive oil; 3 to 4 minutes on each side until soft and lightly golden.
- Remove the cooked eggplant and drain on pieces of paper towel.
- Cook the rigatoni according to the package.
- After draining the cooked pasta, return the pasta to the pot and add the butter and mix well.
- Add the tomato sauce and then the cheeses and spices.
- Lightly oil a springform pan (cheesecake pan) with a little olive oil.
- Arrange the eggplant slices over the base and sides of the springform pan; fanning the pieces from the center to make a pretty pattern. Make sure there are no gaps and that the pan is well covered with the cooked eggplant.
- Spoon the pasta mixture into the pan, pressing down lightly. Add the 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the baked pasta sit for 15 minutes.
- Turn the Charlotte onto a serving dish and release the spring on the pan to gently remove.