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This is a great, mouth-watering recipe! I have just left the seeds in the tomatoes, while pureeing them.It's up to you. For the sake of this recipe, find the Italian tomatoes. This recipe just won't turn out the way it should, if you don't. San Marzano is the best brand, if you can find it. This recipe has the times printed, but it does get a little involved, to some. The taste will make it worth your while.
- 1 lb rigatoni pasta
- 1 (28 ounce) can Italian tomatoes
- 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large eggplant, cut into approx. 1/3-inch dice
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 large zucchini, halved and sliced
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1⁄4 cup basil leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- fresh ground black pepper
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Cook the rigatoni in a large pot of salted water, stirring occsasionally, until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot while preparing the sauce.
- Puree the tomatoes with their juices in a blender or food processor and remove the seeds by passing the puree through a fine strainer placed over the bowl.
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.Add half of the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove eggplant and place on paper towels to drain excess oil. Repeat procedure with remaining eggplant.
- Remove vegetable oil from skillet and add the olive oil. Over medium heat, saute the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the zucchini and onion and saute' for 6 minutes.
- Add the tomato puree, basil, and oregano. Simmer over medium heat until sauce is reduced, about 15 minutes. Stir in eggplant and season`with salt and pepper.
- Fold eggplant and zucchini sauce into the rigatoni along with mozzarella and reserved cooking water.
- Transfer the pasta to a 9x13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese evenly over the top. Bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.
- Serve the pasta piping hot.