The second dish in the Oscar Noms series is Hacksaw Ridge-atoni, in honor of Hacksaw Ridge. This film also earned Mel Gibson a nomination for Best Director, which I guess means that the Academy has either forgiven or forgotten that he’s a crazy racist domestic abuser. At any rate, Hacksaw Ridge is based on a true story about a conscientious objector fighting on the front lines and saving soldiers – without a gun – in Okinawa during one of the bloodiest battles of WWII. That’s an amazing story, but I have no taste for Mel Gibson or his love of pornographic violence.
What I do have a taste for (see how I segued there?) is another comforting pasta dish! Rigatoni is a sturdy, hearty pasta, a manly pasta, if you will, burly enough that even Mel Gibson would approve it. It holds up well to thick, chunky sauces, and this eggplant-tomato sauce is both filling and delicious.
I found this super easy recipe for Rigatoni with Eggplant, Tomato, and Ricotta online, and I liked it immediately because it didn’t require all that salting and draining the eggplant pieces that so often puts me off an eggplant recipe. You simply saute the eggplant cubes with onion, add the tomatoes (note: I used crushed tomatoes instead of whole, which made it even easier), and then the garlic and fresh basil. The finished sauce is tossed with the cooked rigatoni, and dotted with ricotta cheese for serving. I took this as an opportunity to finally test out the Kite Hill ricotta cheese. I was impressed, it is a very mild cheese with a light curd-like texture, definitely the best store-bought vegan ricotta I have tasted yet. It seems like it would lend very well to both savory and sweet recipes. So for the recipe, please click on the link above, and simply substitute a vegan ricotta for serving.