Peel and cut the eggplant into medium cubes, place them in a medium/large bowl toss with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, leave for about 20-30 minutes, drain any excess liquid but do not rinse before adding to the pan.
Start to boil the water while the eggplant is cooking, add the pasta, cook until a little more than al dente.
In a large pan add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the cubed eggplant and ¼ cup of pasta water cook until golden and tender. Move with a slotted spoon to a clean bowl. Set aside.
Pre-heat oven to 400F (200C).
In the same pan add another 1 tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, tomatoes (mashed into small pieces or you can you tomato passata) oregano, basil, hot pepper flakes, a pinch of salt, 1/4 cup water and the cooked eggplant. Cook for about 3-5 minutes. Add ⅓ cup of pasta water, the pasta, mozzarella and half the parmesan cheese.
Gently fold together, then place in a medium baking dish 10x7 inches (27x18 cm), sprinkle the top with the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes then serve. Enjoy!
I don't always peel the eggplant but peeling also helps keep the eggplant tender and not bitter.Any leftover pasta should be covered tightly and stored in the fridge. It will last up to 3-5 days. It can be reheated in a low oven or microwave until warmed through.