Ratatouille Rigatoni and Zucchini
- 1 lbs small, firm eggplant
- 1/4 cup EVOO, plus more for drizzling
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 lbs whole wheat rigatoni
- 2 small firm zucchini, thinly sliced
- Flour for coating
- 3 lrg cloves of garlic, grated or chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- A couple of sprigs rosemary, finely chopped or a healthy teaspoon dried leaves
- A few sprigs thyme, finely chopped, or a scant tsp dried leaves.
- About 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- One 28oz can plum tomatoes in puree
- A handful of fresh basil, chopped or torn
- A handful fresh parsley, chopped
- Parmigiano-reggiano cheese for grating and passing around the table.
1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Halve the eggplant and score the exposed flesh with shallow crisscross cuts. Drizzle or lightly brush the cut surface with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet cut side down and roast until tender, 15-18 min.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain.
3. While the pasta is working, season the zucchini with salt and pepper. Let drain on a paper towel-lined plate for a few minutes. In a large skillet heat 2 tbs EVOO 2 turns of the pan, over med-high heat. Lightly coat the zucchini in flour. Working in batches add the zucchini to the pan and cook, turning, until light golden, 1-2 min per batch. Add 1 clove of garlic with the last batch.
4. In a large deep skillet or heavy saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tbs EVOO, over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 cloves garlic and the onion and season with the rosemary thyme, salt and pepper. Cook until tender 5-6 min.
5. Using a food processor, mix the chicken stock, tomato paste until smooth. Stir into the onion mixture and bring to a boil for 1 min. Stir in the canned tomatoes and crush with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Return the sauce to a boil for a minute or so. Lover the heat to simmer.
6. Remove the eggplant from the oven. Scoop out the flesh and add to the food processor. Puree for 20 seconds and add to the marinara sauce.
7. Toss the pasta with the marinara sauce and top with the basil, parsley and fried zucchini and a flurry of grated cheese.