Baked Rigatoni with Grilled Eggplant in a Four Cheese Sauce

Recipe By: Donatella Arpaia

Napoli Outdoor Oven Other

Prep: 30 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Serves: 4-6 people

Ingredients

3/4 cup olive oil

8 garlic cloves

1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes

1 lb rigatoni

1/2 cup grated smoked mozzarella

1/2 cup grated parmesean

1/2 cup grated pecorino romano

1 cup fresh ricotta

1 medium eggplant

20 basil leaves, cut into slivers

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the Napoli Oven to 400°F.

  2. To make the tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the garlic & saute about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes & cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Season with salt & pepper. Reduce the heat to low & simmer, partially covered, about 30 minutes, until thick.

  3. To make the rigatoni: Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni & cook until not quite al dente.

  4. To make the eggplant: slice into into 3/4-inch slices. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Place eggplant on LYNX grill on medium heat, grilling 10 minutes or until tender, turning and basting occasionally. Remove from grill and cut into smaller pieces, about ½” thick.

  5. Add the 3 cheeses to the thickened tomato sauce & stir until the mozzarella melts. Stir in the basil and grilled eggplant. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

  6. Use a spider to lift the rigatoni out of the water & into the sauce. Toss to coat, then transfer to a 4-quart casserole. Cover with parchment paper, tucking it into the sides of the dish. Bake in Napoli oven about 20 minutes, until the pasta is piping hot.

  7. Bring the dish to the table, cut an “X” in the parchment, & gently tear back the points. Spoon some ricotta onto each portion.