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Baked Rigatoni With Smoked Mozzarella

Recipe Date: January 22, 2021
Yield: 6 Servings
Prep: PT30M 30 minutes | Cook: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: PT170M 2.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Ingredients

PASTA:
1 lb Rigatoni or other short pasta cooked 75% of the way and cooled

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
1 onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon chili flakes
2 teaspoons ground toasted fennel seed
1 cup red wine
½ cup tomato paste
2 x 28-oz cans of San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
¼ cup olive oil + ¼ cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley

EGGPLANT INGREDIENTS:
2 lbs of eggplant sliced into ¼ moons and salted and left in colander to drain for 30 minutes.
3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

CHEESE:
2 ½ cups of grated Smoked Scamorza or Smoked Mozzarella

Preparation

1. Soft butter to line dish grated Parmesan to garnish
2. Begin by making sauce
3. Sweat onion in first ¼ cup of olive oil over medium high heat until soft and translucent
4. Add garlic and cook for one minute
5. Add chili flake, fennel seed, tomato paste and cook until paste begins to lightly brown
6. Deglaze with red wine and cook until mixture forms a thick paste
7. Add tomatoes and sauce, bring to boil and then lower to simmer
8. Simmer for 45 minutes
9. Season to taste with salt, add parsley and final ¼ cup of olive oil
10. Allow to cool
11. While simmering preheat sauté eggplant over medium high heat with olive oil on both sides
12. Work in batches and save on paper towel
13. Rub baking dish with soft butter and preheat oven to 375F
14. In a large bowl combine eggplant, pasta, mozzarella (or scamorza) and sauce
15. Transfer to baking dish and bake for 50 minutes
16. Allow cool for 15 minutes and then serve
17. Garnish with fresh grated parmesan

This dish can easily be prepped 1 day ahead of time and only need to bake it on day of serving.

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