This was delicious!!! Hubby doesn't like baked ziti because it's just....baked ziti. This one he loves. He rated it a 9.5 just because he can't quite get it up to those few things that are his favorite. :) The kids all gave it a 9.5 to a 10 so that means it stays in the rotation!!! I changed the recipe a bit to make sure it was enough for my family so I'll post the link to the original recipe but I'll post what I actually made.
Here's the original recipe: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/baked-ziti.html
Baked Ziti with Eggplant and Sausage
4 tsp. plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 can (16 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 lb. ziti, cooked until al dente
2 Tbsp. dried basil
1/3 cup rinsed, chopped Kalamata olives
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. In a 10" nonstick fry pan over medium high heat, warm 2 tsp. of the olive oil. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and crumbling with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
2. Discard all but 1 Tbsp. of the fat in the pan. Set the pan over medium-high heat and warm 2 tspl of the olive oil. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Set the pan over medium heat and warm the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Add the onion and cook until softened, 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. 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.
4. Add the sausage, basil, olives, 2 cups of the mozzarella and the tomato sauce to the bowl with the eggplant and stir to combine. Add to the pasta (use a large bowl or the pot the pasta was cooked in). Season with the salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta mixture to a large casserole and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and the Parmigiano-Reggiano on top. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 -30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.