Here is a recipe for a baked pasta with pork sausage and eggplants from Tyler Florence’s cook book. This was a very rich and meaty pasta, it’s very comforting, perfect for this time of the year.
Cooking and Prep time: 1 hour
Ingredients (see book for exact measurements)
- Rigatoni Pasta
- Pork Sausages
- Canned whole tomatoes
- Fresh Basil Leaves
- Olive Oil
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Salt & Black Pepper
- On high heat, sear the pork sausages in pan with olive oil until the sausages have a nice caramelized crust, but still raw on the inside.
- Remove sausage from pan, add a bit more olive oil, turn heat down to medium and place eggplants in, season with salt and pepper. Cook the eggplants until they are soft on the inside. Meanwhile, start boiling a pot of water for the rigatoni.
- Remove eggplants from pan.
- Place rigatoni in boiling water, cook for about 5 minutes.
- add more olive oil and place onion and garlic in. Cook until the onion is transparent.
- Add the canned tomatoes inside the pan with onions and garlic.
- Crush the tomatoes, add in fresh basil leaves, season with salt and pepper, let the sauce simmer until sauce is thick
- Save about 1/2 cup of pasta water. Drain the pasta. It should be little bit under cooked than al dente.
- Cut the pork sausages into bite sizes.
- Mix pork sausage, eggplant and pasta in your baking pan.
- Break up mozzarella into bite size pieces, carefully mix them in with the pasta.
- Add in tomato sauce, and carefully mix everything together. If it looks dry, add in the pasta water.
- Place an even layer of mozzarella on top of the pasta, and sprinkle a generous amount of grated parmesan on top.
- Place it in pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes.
As you can see from my picture, I left my pasta in the oven for a tad too long, I have burned the top a little. I relied on my timer, so this could totally be preventable if I had kept my eye on it.
I also cooked my rigatoni in the boiling water for too long. Because the pasta gets cooked again in the oven in the tomato sauce, my pasta was way over cooked.
It looks like there’s a lot of steps in making this baked pasta, but it is actually quite simple. It all involves cooking everything separately then mix and bake them all together.
Where to get the cook book: