Baked Rigatoni with Mozzarella and Tomato Sauce
- Servings : 8
- Prep Time : 10m
- Cook Time : 1:15 h
- Ready In : 1:25 h
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- 1 pound (480 g) uncooked rigatoni
- 2 pounds (960 g) eggplant,diced
- sea salt
- olive oil
- 2 sweet onions,peeled and diced
- 5 cloves garlic,peeled and minced
- 2 (28 oz (840 ml) each)) cans whole peeled Italian tomatoes,chopped and juice reserved
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup torn basil leaves
- 6 ripe plum tomatoes,seeded and chopped
- 1 pound smoked mozzarella cheese,sliced
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add rigatoni and cook,according cooking instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water and set aside.
Sweat the diced eggplants. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and place in a colander lined with paper towels. Close with a lid and allow to sweat for about 1 hour. Remove sweated diced eggplants from the colander. Pat dry with paper towels.
In a large saute pan,heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplants and saute until golden,for about 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon,transfer eggplants to a plate and set aside.
Using the same olive oil,sauté the onions over medium-high heat,stirring occasionally, until soft (for about 10 minutes). Stir in minced garlic and saute for a further 5 minutes. Stir in canned tomatoes with reserved juice,tomato paste, eggplant, red pepper flakes, oregano, parsley, brown sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer,stirring occasionally,for about 15 minutes.
Remove pan from the heat. Stir in fresh basil and chopped plum tomatoes.
Spoon 1 cup (250 ml) of tomato sauce over the bottom of a 1 ½ quart lasagna pan. Toss cooked rigatoni with another cup of sauce. Beginning with the pasta, layer with smoked mozzarella cheese and sauce 2 times. Sprinkle the top evenly with grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for45-50 minuted or until bubbling and hot.