A delicious dinner that's packed with veggies. It's simple, colorful, fresh and fast. The rigatoni has a nice chewy bite and the sauce clings onto the grooves, as well as in the tubes. It's week night doable and approved by adults and children too. Switch up your next meal from the traditional red sauced pasta dish and give this a try.
serves 5 or 6
Rigatoni ala Eggplant
1 medium eggplant, cut into 3/4" cubes
1 medium vidalia onion, large dice
3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes - I used the heirloom variety from Trader Joe's
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
10 basil leaves, torn
6 -8 oz. feta cheese - crumbled
14 oz. can reduced sodium chicken broth
8 oz. water - divided
1 lb. rigatoni pasta - I use DiCecco - cooked al dente
To make the sauce:
Heat a dutch oven, covering the bottom with a thin layer with olive oil, until shimmering. Toss in the diced the eggplant and onion and saute in until browned and beginning to soften. Add the minced garlic and sprinkle in 1/3 of the salt, black pepper, oregano and red pepper flakes. Add additional oil if needed, so eggplant doesn't stick. Continue to saute until onion becomes translucent and eggplant is soft. Toss in the cherry tomatoes. Add 1/2 cup of the water, let simmer until water evaporates. Add the can of chicken broth and half the torn basil. Stir and simmer until sauce has creamy consistency and tomatoes have begun to burst. Taste and adjust seasoning to your preference. I added the additional 1/2 tsp of salt. Add the remaining 1/2 cup water for a looser sauce.
Boil water and add 1 tsp of kosher salt to water. Cook pasta to al dente. Drain and immediately toss in 1/2 the eggplant sauce. Garnish with remaining sauce, crumbled feta cheese and remaining torn basil.
Now eat. Oh, and try not to go back for seconds. I dare you!