Learning how to cook with our Class of 2012 Senior, Morgan!

Posted on May 26, 2011 by Melissa

Every once in awhile, my Grandma brings me Bon Appetit magazines. I found this recipe in one and my sister and I decided to make it for my mom for mother’s day. It was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. However, we substituted the grape tomatoes for small heirloom tomatoes. We served it with a French baguette. It’s really very simple to make and turns out great!
Rigatoni with Eggplant and Pine Nut Crunch


  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 unpeeled large eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 medium yellow bell peppers, cut into 1/2 inch squares
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups (firmly packed) fresh basil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 28-oz can whole tomatoes in juice
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 1 pound whole-milk mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Preheat oven to 425° F. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray, add eggplant and peppers. Cut tomatoes in half length-wise and add to sheet. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Using a garlic press, squeeze one garlic clove over vegetables. Toss mixture together. Roast vegetables until tender, stirring often (about 35 minutes).
Combine 2/3 cup basil, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and 1 garlic clove in a food processor. Blend until crumbly. Top with salt.
Blend tomatoes with juice, cream, 1 1/3 cups basil, and 1 garlic clove in a food processor or blender until smooth. Season sauce with salt and pepper.
Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente, drain. Return pasta to pot and toss with sauce, vegetables, and remaining Parmesan cheese. Transfer mixture to a 13x9x2″ baking dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella and pine nut topping. Bake until heated through and cheese is melted (about 30 minutes).
Let stand 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy! 🙂

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