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
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?
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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