Eggplant & Rigatoni Pasta Puttanesca with Capers, Cherry Tomatoes & Cucumber Salad

Eggplant & Rigatoni Pasta Puttanesca

with Capers, Cherry Tomatoes & Cucumber Salad

40 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Pasta “alla puttanesca” is an Italian favorite that starts with a unique tomato sauce, composed of deliciously piquant ingredients like capers, garlic and other zesty aromatics. For this summery puttanesca, we’re adding hearty eggplant—the mild vegetable eagerly soaks up the lively flavors of our sauce alongside rigatoni pasta. And for a refreshing complement, we’re making an elegant salad with cucumber and vinegar-marinated shallot.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    580 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Peel and thinly slice the shallot; place in a small bowl with the vinegar. Medium dice the eggplant. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Quarter the tomatoes. Quarter the cucumbers lengthwise; cut into thirds on an angle. Finely chop the parsley leaves and stems.

Cook the eggplant:
2 Cook the eggplant:

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the eggplant. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly softened. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the sauce:
3 Make the sauce:

Add the capers to the pot of eggplant. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the dried oregano and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the tomatoes are slightly softened. Add ½ cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally and smashing the vegetables into the bottom of the pot with the back of a spoon, 5 to 6 minutes, or until thickened and saucy. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook & add the pasta:
4 Cook & add the pasta:

While the sauce cooks, add the pasta to the medium pot of boiling water. Cook 9 to 11 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Drain thoroughly and transfer to the pot of sauce.

Make the cucumber salad:
5 Make the cucumber salad:

While the pasta cooks, in a medium bowl, combine the cucumbers and shallot-vinegar mixture; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to mix; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish.

Finish the pasta & serve your dish:
6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pot of cooked pasta and sauce. Cook on medium-high, stirring vigorously to coat the pasta, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish the finished pasta with the cheese and parsley. Serve with the cucumber salad on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Peel and thinly slice the shallot; place in a small bowl with the vinegar. Medium dice the eggplant. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Quarter the tomatoes. Quarter the cucumbers lengthwise; cut into thirds on an angle. Finely chop the parsley leaves and stems.

2 Cook the eggplant:

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the eggplant. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly softened. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook the eggplant:
Make the sauce:
3 Make the sauce:

Add the capers to the pot of eggplant. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the dried oregano and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the tomatoes are slightly softened. Add ½ cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally and smashing the vegetables into the bottom of the pot with the back of a spoon, 5 to 6 minutes, or until thickened and saucy. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

4 Cook & add the pasta:

While the sauce cooks, add the pasta to the medium pot of boiling water. Cook 9 to 11 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Drain thoroughly and transfer to the pot of sauce.

Make the cucumber salad:
5 Make the cucumber salad:

While the pasta cooks, in a medium bowl, combine the cucumbers and shallot-vinegar mixture; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to mix; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish.

6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pot of cooked pasta and sauce. Cook on medium-high, stirring vigorously to coat the pasta, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish the finished pasta with the cheese and parsley. Serve with the cucumber salad on the side. Enjoy!

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