Rigatoni alla Disgraziata (Rigatoni with Eggplant & Bread Crumbs)

Rigatoni alla Disgraziata (Rigatoni with Eggplant & Bread Crumbs)

This is a delicious eggplant and pasta dish. This recipe makes a big batch and freezes well.

Rigatoni alla Disgraziata (Rigatoni with Eggplant and Bread Crumbs)

2 medium Italian eggplants, trimmed and cut into 1 ” cubes (Japanese eggplants can also be used, you’ll need about 4) – you don’t have to peel them
extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 pound rigatoni
2 cups of your favorite marinara or tomato pasta sauce
1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
Parmesan cheese, grated

Toast the fresh bread crumbs in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until golden. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

In a clean skillet, heat 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil over medium-high.  Add the eggplant and cook, stirring often, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes (sometimes I have to add a bit more olive oil to the pan if the eggplant is sticking to the bottom).  Season with salt to taste. Add marinara (or pasta sauce) to the eggplant and bring to temp. Lower temperature and keep warm.

Meanwhile, cook rigatoni according to package directions. When just tender, drain well. Add to the warm eggplant and tomato sauce mixture. Add the toasted bread crumbs and mozzarella and mix well. Serve with grated Parmesan.

This recipe is adapted from:  Italian Classics:  Fourteen Favorite Recipes from the Pages of Saveur Magazine (World Publications, 2003).

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