If it already sounds drool worthy, it certainly must be – and this one indeed is! This recipe was adapted from Bonappetit Magazine (03/11) and it is a keeper!
- 1 large eggplant cut into half inch cubes
- 1 large bell pepper cut into half inch squares
- 1-2 cups of grape tomatoes
- 6 small or 3 medium green onion
- garlic powder
- salt & pepper
- ⅓ of a cup (80 ml) of olive oil
- ⅔ cups packed fresh basil leaves, and another 1⅓ cups (I used 2 full medium sized plant pots)
- ½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and another ½ cup (ca. 2 x 115g)
- ¼ cup pine nuts (ca. 50g)
- 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes in juice (400g can)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream (240 ml)
- 1 pound rigatoni (500g)
- 1 pound mozzarella cheese cut into ½ inch cubes (450g)
1. Enjoy the look of your fresh veggies and get to cutting them.
2. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (ca. 220ºC). Grease a baking sheet and throw your veggies (minus the onion) on there, sprinkles with salt, pepper and garlic powder, drizzle olive oil over the whole sheet and stir it all up. Pop that into the oven for 30-40 minutes stirring frequently. After 15-20 minutes add the onion to the mix.
3. On to making the pine nut crunch. Combine ⅔ cup basil, ½ cup Parmesan, pine nuts and some garlic powder. Blend until crumbly (I used my stick processor, if you have a food processor use that one). Season to taste with salt, set aside.
4. Blend tomatoes, cream, the rest of the basil and some more garlic powder with stick processor – I call mine my magic wand. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water (duh!) until just tender, drain. Return to pot. Toss with sauce, roasted veggies and the remaining ½ cup of Parmesan. Transfer to a 13x9x2 (ca. 33x23x5 cm) backing dish.
6. Cut mozzarella into cubes.
7. Sprinkle pine nut crunch and mozzi on top, pop this beauty in the oven and bake 25 to 30 minutes.
8. Let stand for 10 minutes, so you don’t burn your face off when taking the first bite (been there, done that).
This casserole makes great left overs. And on a side note: you can substitute garlic powder for real garlic. We are not big garlic fans because of the “after effects” it has on human interaction 😉