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"We're going to make something that we usually only make on Sundays," says Rach. It's baked rigatoni in a tomato sauce layered with slices of roasted eggplant and hot coppa ham, lots of cheese and basil. Rach calls it a "special pasta" that’s "SO good!"
Preheat oven to 425°F.
For the eggplant, season with salt on kitchen towels 20 to 30 minutes, then drain.
Line baking sheets with parchment, arrange eggplant on them and top with seasonings and EVOO spray. Bake to lightly brown, remove and cool. Leave the oven on to bake the pasta.
For the pasta, heat water to a boil and salt it. Undercook pasta by a minute or two. Drain and rinse. Reserve a mug of pasta cooking water for marrying the sauce.
For the sauce, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO over medium heat and sweat onions with salt to soften. Add garlic, red pepper, sugar and tomato paste, stir a minute or two, then add wine and reduce by half. Add tomatoes and passata. Stir in torn basil.
Toss pasta with sauce.
Layer half the pasta and sauce into a casserole and top with half the ham, half the eggplant, half the cheeses and repeat.
Bake to bubble and brown just before serving and top with sliced basil.