Rigatoni with Eggplant and Tomato Sauce

The weather is still so balmy in Sydney and we continue harvesting eggplants so I thought a nice pasta dish with a rich tomato sauce with the eggplants would make a delicious lunch.

Rigatoni with Eggplant and Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tblsp of tomato paste
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 small knob of butter
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup of chicken or vegetable stock
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 300 g rigatoni
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan like Parmiggiano Regiano or Parmiggiano Grana Padana

Method:

Tomato and Eggplant Sauce:

  1. Cut the eggplant into slices lengthwise and sprinkle with salt then leave the slices in a colander to drain over a large bowl for 1 hour
  2. Rinse under cold water making sure to rinse off all the salt
  3. Dry the slices well with paper towel
  4. Grill the slices and set aside to cool
  5. If you have a George Foreman or similarĀ grill you can just slice the eggplant and grill without the previously described preparation
  6. Once cold cut the eggplant into 1.5 cm cubes and set aside
  7. In a saucepan heat the oil and the knob of butter on a medium heat
  8. When the oil is hot add the chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes until golden and translucent
  9. Add the finely chopped garlic and cook for a further minute
  10. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute
  11. Add the chopped tomatoes, wine, stock, basil leaves, rosemary, parsley, bay leaf, and bring to the boil
  12. Lower the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, checking every now and then and adding a little water if the sauce is drying out.
  13. Place the chopped grilled eggplant into the sauce and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  14. Check the seasoning
  15. Serve with cooked rigatoni and a good grated parmesan like Parmiggiano Reggiano or Parmiggiano Grana Padana for the best flavour and a whisper of ground black pepper

Making up the rigatoni pasta:

  1. Cook the rigatoni in salted boiling water according to the directions, until the pasta is al dente
  2. Drain well and place in a large bowl
  3. Stir through the tomato and eggplant sauce reserving a little for serving
  4. Stir through 1/4 cup of the parmesan
  5. Serve with extra sauce on top and more grated parmesan
  6. Freshly grate some black pepper over the pasta if desired

IMG_20160503_131948-Rigatoni with Eggplant

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