Lemony Pasta with Baked Eggplant and Tomato Sauce
Rinse, trim and cut eggplants into 1 cm thick (approximately 1/2 inch thick) slices. Spread slices on a work surface, sprinkle with salt and let stand until salt draws out some of the eggplant's moisture, about 30 minutes.
For the tomato sauce, peel and finely chop onion and 1 clove garlic. In a pot, sauté onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons hot olive oil until translucent. Add tomatoes and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. If needed, thin sauce with a little water. Season with salt, pepper and sugar.
Mix together parmesan and mozzarella.
Pat eggplant slices dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. In a pan, heat 2 tablespoon oil. Add eggplant slices, rosemary and remaining 2 cloves garlic (pressed through a garlic press). Fry, turning frequently, until eggplant slices are browned. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer eggplant, along with rosemary and garlic, to prepared sheet. Sprinkle with cheese mixture. Broil, watching carefully, until cheese is melted, 5-10 minutes.
Rinse lemon in hot water, wipe dry, and finely grate zest. Squeeze juice from lemon. Cook pasta in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain well. In a pan, sauté lemon zest in remaining olive oil over low heat. Add pasta, 1-2 tsp lemon juice, and season with freshly ground mixed peppercorns.
Serve pasta with the baked eggplant slices and tomato sauce on plates.