- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
- 1 pound rigatoni
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium eggplants (2 pounds), cut into 3/4-inch dice
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 beefsteak tomatoes (2 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/3 cup prepared pesto
- 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
How to make this recipe
Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter a 9-by-13-inch ovenproof baking dish. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the rigatoni until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a large bowl. Toss the pasta with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Add half of the eggplant and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the eggplant to the pasta. Repeat with another 1/4 cup of olive oil and the remaining eggplant.
Add the onion, garlic and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have broken down and thickened to a sauce consistency, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the 4 tablespoons of butter.
Add the tomato sauce to the pasta and eggplant along with the pesto and ricotta; season with salt and pepper and toss well. Transfer the rigatoni to the prepared baking dish. Top with the mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano and bake for about 20 minutes, until bubbling and golden on top. Let the pasta stand for 10 minutes before serving