The Dish: Rainy Day Rigatoni with Eggplant

8:34 AM

It was a perfect storm - the little one had decided on going on a "pasta only" diet. Fridge was nearly empty with one lone eggplant hanging out in the crisper. Afternoon thunderstorms were in the forecast. It was time to try Rainy Day Rigatoni.

I came across this dish on one of my favorite websites, The recipe actually comes from Apron Anxiety, blog from Alyssa Shelasky. I absolutely love her writing style and the site's design is simple yet sophisticated. Thanks kitchn for introducing me to yet another gem.

This dish is very easy to make using ingredients you probably have on hand. I made some modifications to the recipe based on what we had in the house (Penne instead of rigatoni, diced tomatoes v. crushed, oregano instead of basil, red onion and garlic).

The family chowed just as the storm blew through. The look on umdaddy's face told me this was a winner. And just as my son finished the last morsel of eggplant, the sun was shining. And was there a rainbow at the end of our meal? Maybe. I was too busy to notice as I was squirreling away the leftovers for tomorrow's lunch.

Adapted from Apron Anxiety's Rainy Day Rigatoni
Serves 4

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
pinch hot pepper flakes
1 large eggplant cut into 1/2” cubes
2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoons pepper
1 pound penne (I used Barilla's Multi-grain PLUS in an effort to get more nutrients in the kids' diet)
3 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
grated parmigiano


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add onion, garlic and red pepper and sauté until the onion is almost translucent, add the eggplant and one teaspoon of salt and cook for twenty minutes allowing it to get a little brown. Then add tomatoes, wine, sugar, oregano and the remaining salt, cook for 50-60 minutes, until the eggplant is very soft.

Cook penne according to package directions. When the pasta is drained, return it to the pasta pot, add a few ladlefuls of sauce, and a dash of olive oil. Ladle into bowls garnished with a dollop of extra sauce and grated Parmesan.

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