Active preparation time – 45 minutes, inactive cooking time – 1 hour. Serves 8 people.
The sauce may be made in advance and reheated before cooking the Rigatoni.
• 1 cup + 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 1 large Eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
• Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
• 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
• 1 lb. hot Italian sausage
• 12 cloves of garlic chopped fine
• 3 28 oz. cans San Marzano tomatoes cut into large chunks
• 1 cup dry red wine
• 2 lbs. Rigatoni
• 1 fresh unsalted mozzarella packed in water, diced small, about 1&1/2 cups
• 30 leaves of basil chopped coarsely
• Freshly grated Locatelli Romano cheese
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, toss the cubed eggplant with 1 cup of the olive oil. When fully coated, sprinkle with salt & black pepper and toss again.
3. Spread the eggplant in one layer on a cookie sheet, roast in the oven for 40 minutes.
4. While the eggplant is roasting, brown the sausages on medium heat for 20 minutes, turning frequently.
5. When browned, slice the sausage into ½ inch pieces.
6. Heat remaining olive oil on high in a 6 quart pot.
7. When oil is hot but not smoking, reduce heat to medium, stir in the chopped garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sliced sausage, stirring constantly for about a minute.
8. Add the tomatoes and their liquid; return heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cook uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
9. Add the roasted eggplant and wine, turn heat to low and simmer uncovered for an hour to fully blend flavors, stir periodically.
10. Fill a large pot with sufficient water to cook the Rigatoni according to directions on the box of pasta.
11. When Rigatoni is cooked, drain and toss it with the sauce. Add the diced mozzarella, one handful at a time,and toss well to melt and spread throughout the pasta.
12. Add the basil and serve at once with grated cheese.
Please see: Cooking in Naples…Florida, that is!
Serve with crusty Italian Bread and Chianti Classico Riserva