The executive chef of Santina restaurant in New York City created this popular gluten-free dish for its winter menu; it also can be made with your choice of pasta
Ashley Eddie’s Rigatoni with Tomato & Eggplant
3/4 cup olive oil
1 lb. Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise and diagonally sliced 1/2-in. thick (4 cups)
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt plus more for pasta water
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Pinch of crushed red pepper
3/4 cup torn fresh basil
1 lb. uncooked rigatoni or gluten-free rigatoni
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup golden raisins, softened in hot water and drained (optional)
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/2 oz. ricotta salata or pecorino cheese, grated (about 2/3 cup)
1. Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium high.
2. Add 2 cups of the eggplant; cook until golden, about 5 minutes on each side. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining oil and eggplant. Do not wipe Dutch oven clean.
3. Reduce heat to medium low. Add garlic to Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes, cooked eggplant, salt, oregano, and crushed red pepper; cook, crushing some of the eggplant and incorporating it into tomatoes, until reduced to sauce consistency, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in basil.
4. While tomato sauce cooks, cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Add pasta and reserved cooking water to Dutch oven with sauce.
5. Add pine nuts, softened raisins and butter; toss until combined. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
Active time: 45 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes