Chef's Favorite Cheesy & Easy Baked Rigatoni Recipe With Eggplant, Tomatoes & Yellow Peppers by Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of KSCU 103.3 FM LIVE Food Talk Radio S.F. Bay Area

Pasta Dinner
3 months ago
Chef's Favorite Cheesy & Easy Baked Rigatoni Recipe With Eggplant, Tomatoes & Yellow Peppers

This hearty, vegetable pasta recipe requires a little oven time, but makes plenty for a group and is full of flavor and texture. So tasty! Serve with crusty bread and a fresh salad. And why not make a homemade salad dressing, too?

Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes
Servings: 6 to 8


  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 1 unpeeled large eggplant, about 1 1/2 pounds, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 medium yellow bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch large squares
  • 2 cups chopped Roma tomatoes
  • 4 large garlic cloves (divided)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes in juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound fresh whole-milk mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Add the eggplant, peppers and tomatoes with 1/2 the garlic sprinkled onto vegetables. Drizzle with oil and toss. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Roast vegetables in a preheated 425-degree F oven until tender, stirring often, about 35 to 45 minutes.
  2. Combine most of the basil, reserving a few leaves for garnish, with 1/2 cup Parmesan, walnuts and the remaining garlic in a food processor. Blitz until crumbly. Set aside.
  3. Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water about  3 to 4 minutes under recommended cooking directions. It should be tender, but still pretty firm to bite. Drain. Return to pot. 
  4. Add the roasted vegetables, tomatoes with their liquid and the cream. Add the remaining Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine, being careful not to tear the cooked pasta.
  5. Transfer to 13x9-inch baking pan. Sprinkle with mozzarella and the walnut topping. Bake until the pasta is heated through, 25 to 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes being serving. 

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Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
I love hearty pasta dishes like this. Ultimate comfort food!
I made this one and it is a winner...
Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of KSCU 103.3 FM LIVE Food Talk Radio S.F. Bay Area
So glad you guys loved it! Sometimes ( besides a good ratatouille) it's the only way ill eat Eggplant. Shhh!

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