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Mezzi Rigatoni with Ratatouille and Ricotta Salata

Prep Time:

Cook Time:


15 minutes

1 Hour

4-6 Servings

About the Recipe

This incredible late summer recipe makes a thick ratatouille inspired sauce to coat mezzi rigatoni. The idea is to slow cook all of the ingredients in an open pot in the oven to make a thick jammy sauce full of summer vegetable flavor. The sauce is finished with fresh herbs and lemon and then tossed with the pasta. The sauce is very forgiving and if it ends up over reduced, simply add some starchy pasta water to the desired consistency. Thinly sliced ricotta salata adds a salty cheesy contrast to the jammy almost sweet sauce. If you’re feeling crazy, you could also cook this on the smoker, nice and low and slow.


  • 3 tbl good quality olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 large onion, sliced

  • 2 medium eggplants, cubed

  • 2 zucchini or yellow squash, cubed

  • 2 Red Bell Peppers, sliced

  • 2 lbs fresh cherry tomatoes, halved or one 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes

  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

  • 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped

  • 2 tsp fresh marjoram (optional)

  • 6 sprigs Italian parsley, chopped

  • 10 leaves fresh basil, torn 

  • Juice and zest of ½ a lemon, plus lemon wedges for serving

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1lb Mezzi Rigatoni

  • Ricotta salata, sliced, for serving


Step 1

Heat oven to 300F. In a large dutch oven or large ovenproof pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. 1-2 minutes. Add onion and a pinch of salt and cook until softened and beginning to caramelize, about 4-5 minutes longer. 

Step 2

Add eggplant, zucchini, and bell pepper and cook over medium-high heat until beginning to brown. Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place pot in the oven and slowly cook the sauce until it begins to reduce and thicken and all of the components begin to meld together. This could take between 30-50 minutes

Step 3

Toward the end of the cook time for the sauce, bring 4 quarts of water with 1tbl kosher salt to a boil in a large pot. Cook pasta until al dente according to instructions on box. 

Step 5

Remove pot from oven. Stir in the fresh herbs and lemon zest, squeeze lemon juice to taste and season with more salt if needed. Drain pasta and add directly to the pot of sauce. Stir to coat pasta, adding some starchy pasta cooking liquid if needed to loosen the sauce a bit.


Serve in warmed bowls topped with sliced ricotta salata and a lemon wedge.


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