Emeril's Eggplant, Sausage, and Ziti Casserole

Recipe by Tina Madden
READY IN: 1hr 45mins
SERVES: 8-10




  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Lightly grease a 9 by 13-inch casserole dish and set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1/4 cup of the oil.
  • Add the eggplant in batches, seasoning on both sides with salt and pepper, and cook until golden, adding more oil as needed.
  • Transfer to a plate as they cook, and set aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • When hot but not smoking, add the onion and sausage, and cook, stirring, until the sausage is browned and the onion is soft, about 6 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, their juices, the Italian seasoning, black olives, 1 teaspoon of salt, and the crushed red pepper.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer, uncovered, until the flavors marry and the sauce slightly thickens, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Add the basil and adjust seasoning, to taste.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and forms a light roux, about 2 minutes.
  • Whisk in the milk and, whisking frequently, cook until the sauce is thickened and smooth, about 4 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and season with the nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Arrange half of the eggplant slices on the bottom of the casserole, overlapping as necessary.
  • Top with half of the cooked pasta, then half of the sausage-tomato sauce.
  • Place another layer of eggplant slices on top of the sauce, then layers of pasta and sausage-tomato sauce.
  • Pour on the white sauce, then top with the grated mozzarella and Parmesan.
  • Bake for 1 hour, or until puffed and golden brown on top.