Baked Rigatoni with Roasted Eggplant, Spinach, and Fresh Mozzarella
Serves: 6-8
  • Sauce:
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ½ cup diced carrot
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Assemble Pasta:
  • 17.5 ounces rigatoni
  • 1 eggplant, cut into bit size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 slices of white American cheese, from the deli counter
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a large casserole dish.
  2. Heat olive oil over a medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add onion, carrot, and garlic. Cook until softened, about five minutes. Season with a little salt.
  3. Pour wine in the pan; simmer until reduced, about two minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, garlic powder, basil and salt. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Roast Eggplant: Drizzle chopped eggplant with olive oil and roast in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.
  5. In the meantime bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. Add a liberal amount of salt and then the pasta. Cook until just under aldente (it will cook more in the oven.) Remove eggplant from oven and season with a little bit of salt, set aside. Turn heat down to 350 degrees.
  6. Combine pasta with sauce, eggplant, spinach, and mozzarella cheese, transfer to greased dish. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and dot with pieces of white american cheese.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until cheese is melted and hot all the way through.
Recipe by Cooking for Keeps at