Recipe Index

Italian | Baked Rigatoni alla Norma

Posted on November 8, 2011

A tasty use of eggplant. This recipe makes a lot, you could cut it in half. When frying the eggplant, I don't use a cup of oil, I just put some oil in the pan. You could also bake the eggplant rather than fry to further reduce the oil. I used 2 1/2 cups of sauce, next time I would up it to 3 cups.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

baked rigatoni alla norma


2 pounds eggplant, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 teaspoons kosher sea salt

1 cup olive oil, or about 1/4-inch in the skillet

1 medium onion, chopped

2 1/2 cups Toscano Sauce or 24 to 26 ounce bottled marinara sauce

1 pound dried rigatoni

1 pound cold mozzarella, preferably salted fresh, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

kosher sea salt, to taste

freshly ground pepper, to taste



Toss eggplant with 2 teaspoons salt in colander. Drain 30 minutes. Rinse, then squeeze out excess liquid and pat dry. (You get more of the liquid out in the patting dry part.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in the middle.

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Fry eggplant in 3 batches, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

Discard all but 2 tablespoons oil from skillet, then saute onion with salt and pepper until golden, about 8 minutes. Stir in sauce and eggplant and simmer 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook rigatoni in a pasta pot of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain. Stir together pasta, sauce, and half of mozzarella in pot. Transfer to a 3-quart baking dish and top with remaining mozzarella. Bake uncovered until cheese is melted and golden in spots, about 45 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


(Ref. Sur La Table's "Baked Rigatoni alla Norma" recipe, "Favorite Italian Pastas" class.)