We eat pasta alot, and while I love the staples Spaghetti and Bolognese, I make a lot of variations. I’m always trying to eat more vegetables and adding a few new ones to the standard red sauce just makes for well, something new. Eggplant and fennel are not veggies I eat regularly so its nice to find a way to add them in. It made for a very chunky sauce with the hearty rigatoni – and I used Italian Sausage, but it could be made vegetarian. Great with a simple salad and some crusty bread!
Pre-roasting the eggplant and fennel really brings out their flavors before adding them to the sauce.
Recipe: Eggplant Fennel Rigatoni
- 1 fennel bulb, quartered, core removed, and sliced thin
- 1 eggplant, cut into large cubes, about 1 inch
- olive oil, salt and pepper for roasting veggies
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced small
- 1 lb ground Italian Sausage (cut up links would work too, or leave it out to make a vegetarian sauce)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 28oz cans whole (break up) or diced tomatoes
- 1 t basil or any dried Italian herbs
- 1 T brown sugar
- 1 lb rigatoni or any short hearty pasta
- Parmesan cheese for serving
- Preheat oven to 425. Roast eggplant and fennel with olive oil, salt and pepper on a large sheet pan for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, preheat a large pot on the stovetop over medium heat. Add olive oil and saute onion about 5 to 10 minutes until softened and starting to brown.
- Add sausage and break up with a wooden spoon, until fully cooked and browned. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Add tomatoes, basil, sugar, and eggplant/fennel when done. Simmer the sauce on low for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- When ready, cook pasta using package instructions, top with the sauce and grated Parmesan cheese. Leftover sauce can be frozen.
Preparation time: 30 minute(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 15 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
Microformatting by hRecipe.