California Central Coast Recipes

Rigatoni with Eggplant, Mushrooms and Thyme

If you like eggplant and mushrooms, then you're going to love our recipe for Rigatoni with Eggplant, Mushrooms and Thyme! It's a "mama-cooking-style" that really satisfies. It's SO mellow-definitely a "comfort-food style meal!" Just picture the combination of caramelized white onions with garlic, eggplant, brown mushrooms, thyme and a little cream with pasta- then topped with Parmesan cheese! All you need to complete the picture is a salad and a nice glass of red wine. 2018, Rigatoni with Eggplant, Mushrooms and Thyme
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


3 to 4 Tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive oil
1 medium White onion , peeled and thinly sliced (2mm)
1 Large Eggplant (1#) washed and cut into small cubes
1/2 pound Brown mushrooms , cleaned and sliced
3 to 4 Cloves Garlic , chopped
1/4 teaspoons Dried Thyme
1/3 cup Cream
Salt and Freshly cracked Black pepper to taste
1/2 cup Italian parsley , washed, blotted and chopped
6 ounce Rigatoni
Parmesan Cheese , grated for topping

Preparation Directions.

1 Pour the olive oil into a large stockpot and heat over medium heat until hot. Add in the thinly sliced white onion, separating the segments as you scatter them in the pot. Saute until softened and lightly golden.

2 Add in the sliced mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms release their juices.

3 Add in the diced eggplant and saute until until lightly golden. Then add in the chopped garlic and dried thyme. Stir and saute until fragrant. Add in the salt and pepper to taste.

4 Continue to saute, stirring often to disperse all ingredients evenly. Add in the cream and turn the heat down a bit and let the pan do a slow simmer about ten minutes or so.

5 Just before serving time, taste and make seasoning corrections, then add in the chopped parsley and stir to evenly distribute throughout the sauce.

6 In the meantime, start a large pasta pot filled with hot water and bring to a boil. Add a tablespoon or so of salt and add the pasta. Stir well and cook as directed on pasta package.

7 When the pasta is al dente, drain and add to sauce. Toss well to coat the pasta evenly. Serve on dinner plates topped with Parmesan cheese with additional cheese at the table.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

Serve with any good red wine or Chianti.

A tip from Sue!

Save those Parmesan cheese rinds!

Save those Parmesan cheese rinds when you get through with a brick of Parmesan cheese! They can be used to flavor soups deliciously. Store them in the freezer in a plastic bag, and use as needed.

The Parmesan rinds give unbelievable flavor and soul to soups and will turn a bowl of soup into an "entree" worthy of any guest. I generally use about two ounces of Parmesan cheese rinds to a stockpot of soup. Add them in after you've added the liquid and let them cook along with the rest of your soup's ingredients. You won't be sorry!

read more:
Tuscan-Style White Bean Soup with Parmesan Cheese Rind