Rigatoni with Eggplant Caponata

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We ate most of this tangy relish over pasta and plan to eat the leftovers as a crostini topping (with basil) or as a sandwich spread (with mozzarella) – YUM! Pasta water can be added to the caponata to make a thinner sauce for pasta, but I prefer a chunky and thick sauce. This recipe was adapted from Everyday Food.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large sweet onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more if needed, to taste
  • 2 large eggplants (2 1/4 pounds total), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2/3 cup red-wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • freshly grated Parmesan, for serving, if desired
  • fresh basil, for garnish, if desired
  1. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion, raisins, pine nuts, garlic, and red-pepper flakes; cook stirring occasionally, until onion has softened, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Add tomato paste, cocoa powder, and sugar; cook, stirring, until tomato paste is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggplant, vinegar, and 2/3 cup water.
  3. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is tender and mixture is thick, 7 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and more sugar (up to 2 tablespoons), as desired.
  4. Cook the rigatoni according to the package directions in salted, boiling water. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  5. Combine cooked pasta with approximately 3 cups of the sauce, or as desired. Gradually add reserved pasta water until desired consistency is achieved.
  6. Serve garnished with freshly grated Parmesan and fresh basil, if desired.

One Year Ago:

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About Josette@thebrookcook

I live in Stony Brook, New York on Long Island. I love garlic and baking. My hobby (and love) is to try new recipes. My favorite recipe resources include The New York Times, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, and Martha Stewart Living. Enjoy!

13 responses to “Rigatoni with Eggplant Caponata

  1. Oh wow….using coco powder and sugar with eggplant…sounds like a mole too.. I have never tried caponata…but have always wanted to. This looks appetizing and I have eggplants right now with me… Might give it a try….awesome Josette.

  2. Yum! Such an inviting bowl of pasta 🙂 It sounds absolutely delish!

  3. This looks SO good. We have been making pasta a lot lately… I will have to try this, as I love eggplant. The thick noodles look perfect for the sauce.

  4. I’m such a sucker for eggplant. I love this recipe. Pinning this now!

  5. Eggplant and pasta? Yes, please!! I want to try your eggplant parmesan as well!

  6. Liz

    Omg what a unique combination of ingredients. I really wish I could taste it!

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