I loved Laura Alden's quick weeknight pasta recipe. I'm all for easy recipes that don't require a lot of attention.
At the farmers' market recently, I saw these wonderful eggplants and was determined to use them in a pasta sauce. But since I was short on time, I didn't want to create a complicated dish.
I've made this twice now -- easy, easy! Not the fanciest dish ever but it tastes great and is a nice warm side dish, or even a main course for a vegetarian.
I've tried it with both Japanese eggplant and regular eggplant. The Japanese eggplant was a little bit tastier. That could have been a fluke, but I'm more than willing to make it with regular eggplant as well.
The main difference is how long the eggplant needs to roast. The Japanese eggplant, roasted at 400, was ready in 30 minutes. The regular eggplant takes nearly an hour.
1/2 package rigatoni
4 Japanese eggplants or 1 large eggplant
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Lightly oil a baking pan. Slice the eggplant (if Japanese, slice in half, if large eggplant, slice in four pieces). Place in pan and very lightly oil both sides. Bake for 1 hour if large eggplant or 30 minutes if Japanese eggplant, or until totally soft and almost mushy.
Meanwhile, prepare rigatoni (or the pasta of your choice) according to package.
On a low temperature, add two tablespoons olive oil to a frying pan with garlic. Saute gently. (If you're in the mood, add a teaspoon of oregano at this point.) Add the diced tomatoes. When the eggplant is cooked through, scrape it out of the peel and add to garlic mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. Heat briefly so the flavors can mingle. Spoon over rigatoni and serve.