Turning up the flavor with this skillet rigatoni pasta dish! I wish I was Italian! Actually I sort of think I am (haha). I love Italy and everything about it. A beautiful country with so many incredible cities, a ton of history, and well the food (that in of itself is amazing!). It is literally a mecca for chefs and foodies. From the north to the south each region offers something unique and delicious. There is really no such thing as a bad Italian meal. NOPE! It just doesn't exist. I have spent some time in Italy and love learning about all the beautiful rich gastronomy this country and cuisine offers. The Italian love their food and love sharing it. So since I am "Italian" (okay maybe not) I want to share this simple Italian turned up flavor skillet rigatoni dish with you all.
Boiling pasta and adding marinara sauce can get boring for those pasta dinner nights. So this recipe of skillet rigatoni just takes a few more steps and you will have turned up some serious flavor volume with this meal. Adding eggplant and mushrooms makes this dish rich and deep with flavor. A good source of vegetables as well. Italians do love a balanced meal and dish. There is typically a vegetable(s) on the table in an Italian meal. It is just part of the gastronomy! So instead of making a bunch of different dishes for this weeknight meal, add everything into one skillet and there you have it. No need to complicate your life, make it simple. You can swap rigatoni for penne or macaroni if you like. I find the rigatoni is a big great bite with the hearty vegetables and the creamy ricotta marinara sauce. Enjoy turning up the volume with this skillet pasta recipe!
Yields 4 servings
Time 25-35 minutes
1 box of Dececco Rigatoni
1 pint of button mushrooms - diced
1/2 yellow onion - small dice
1 small eggplant - small dice
2 cups marinara sauce
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese - cut into pieces
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil for garnish
Salt + Pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling add 2 tablespoons rock salt. Add the pasta and cook as directed by the box.
2. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
3. In a saute pan add the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onions, mushrooms, and eggplant. Season with salt and pepper. Let this cook for 4-5 minutes. Then add the marinara sauce and stir.
5. Once the pasta is al dente add it to a large bowl and the mushroom eggplant marinara sauce. Add the ricotta cheese and gently mix it all together. Pour this pasta mixture into a skillet and top with the fresh and grated mozzarella. Bake in the oven for 8-12 minutes until the cheese has melted on top.
6. Garnish with fresh basil once you have removed the skillet from the oven. Serve warm and enjoy!