My colleague, master miller Duccio Morozzo della Rocca, and I created this dish during a visit to the Di Mercurio farm and mill. The tomato puree we used is called passata. Find it at larger supermarkets or online. Or use another premium tomato puree, such as one made from San Marzano tomatoes.
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea), to taste
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1/2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
- 1/2 small eggplant, stemmed, peeled, and diced
- 1/2 small zucchini, stemmed and diced
- 1 small red onion, peeled, and diced
- 1/2 pound (8 ounces) uncooked rigatoni
- 3 cups high-quality jarred tomato purée
- Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
- Crushed red pepper flakes, for serving
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Pour 1/4 cup of olive oil into a cold saucepan. Add the bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini, onion, and a pinch or two of salt. Sauté the vegetables until they’re soft and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
In the meantime, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al
dente according to the package directions.
Stir the tomato purée into the vegetables and simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Purée the sauce with an immersion blender until it’s fairly smooth. Season with additional salt, if desired. Drain the rigatoni and add to the sauce. Gently stir to combine.
Transfer to a warmed shallow bowl and serve with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, hot red pepper flakes, and extra olive oil for drizzling.
Serves 4 — Recipe courtesy of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club