Rigatoni with Ratatouille Bolognese

Prep Time: 
45 minutes prep time
Number of Servings: 
Recipe Source: 

Dinner for Everyone by Mark Bittman ($40, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2019)


  • Salt
  • 1 lb eggplant, peeled if you like and cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into chunks
  • 1 zucchini, cut into chunks
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cored and cut into chunks
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • Pepper
  • 1 lb whole-wheat rigatoni or other cut pasta
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Put eggplant, onion, fennel, zucchini, bell pepper, and garlic in a food processor with 1/4 cup of the oil. Pulse, stopping to scrape down sides once or twice, until finely chopped but not puréed.
  2. Put remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add vegetables and cook, stirring often, until onion becomes translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, turn heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring frequently, until tomato paste caramelizes, 3 to 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat so it bubbles gently but steadily. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Add pasta to boiling water, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, and then start tasting. When pasta is tender but still has some bite, scoop out 2 cups cooking water, and then drain pasta.
  4. Immediately add pasta and a splash of cooking water to skillet and turn heat to medium-high. Toss to coat in sauce, adding a little more reserved pasta water if necessary to create a slightly creamy, but not soupy, sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning; then garnish with parsley and serve.
Nutrition Info: 

776 Calories, 26 g Protein, 131 g Carbohydrates, 14 g Fiber, 23 g Total fat (3 g sat), 1,233 mg Sodium, ★★★★★ Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B3 (niacin), B6, C, E, K, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, ★★★★ Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Folate, Potassium, ★★★ Zinc, ★★ Calcium, Vitamin A