Friday, October 15, 2010

Eggplant Rigatoni

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.

Eggplant Rigatoni

1/2 package rigatoni
olive oil
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.



  1. This is a wonderful recipe. I serve it over roasted spaghetti squash. Roast your squash at the same time you're roasting your eggplant

  2. Sounds wonderful! I think I'm leaning toward Japanese eggplant, considering the taste and the length of time it takes to roast. Thanks for the recipe, Krista!

  3. Deliciously perfect for a fall supper. Love the idea of Japanese eggplant and the colors in your photos are fantastic. Thanks for another clever (and healthy) recipe idea, Kirsta. Enjoy your Saturday.

    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  4. What a great idea, Beverly!

    Elizabeth, the Japanese eggplant is so lovely, but it's rare that I find it here.

    Cleo, you're so right. I should have mentioned that this is a nice way to get the eggplant flavor without a huge amount of oil.

    ~ Krista

  5. OK Krista...I'm going to try eggplant once again just to make this recipe :-) I admit I'm not a big fan unless it is well covered in sauce and melty cheese but this ol' gal needs some new tricks!! I keep seeing this "hefty honey" woman wearing my clothes when I look in the mirror??!!??

  6. Nanc, I was going to suggest topping it with a bit of Parmesan, but that won't help the "hefty honey" look. Love that name, though, and know what you're talking about! If you're not a fan of eggplant, I don't know that the tomato and garlic will cover up the taste sufficiently, but maybe if you add some oregano?

    ~ Krista