Roasted Eggplant Rigatoni

Ingredients:

1lb eggplant, any variety, trimmed & cut into 1 inch piece

2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, or to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

4 garlic cloves, smashed

1 shallot, thinly sliced

1, 28oz can crushed tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1-2 teaspoons good quality, thick balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, plus more for serving, optional

1 lb pasta, prefereably rigatoni or penne 

3oz shredded parmesan or burrata for serving, optional

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F and bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. 
  2. Place the eggplant on a large parchment-lined baking sheet, season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and toss eggplant to coat. Roast until the eggplant is tender and charred in some spots, about 25-30 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, add remaining olive oil to a large pot on medium-high heat. Add the garlic and shallots and sauté until shallots are soft and translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, remaining  1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, dried oregano, and chili flakes. Bring to a simmer, add the balsamic vinegar and water, and stir.  Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook until all the flavors have come together, about 15-20 minutes. 
  4.  Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes less than suggested on the package. The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water to use later.
  5. Add the roasted eggplant, cooked pasta, and basil directly into the sauce and stir to coat, using the pasta water as needed to form a silky sauce.  
  6. Serve in big bowls with more basil, parmesan cheese or burrata, and black pepper. 

September 14, 2021

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