The ultimate comfort food and one of my favourite pasta dishes at home.
✔️175g rigatoni (or penne)
✔️1 heaped tbsp Parmesan for the topping
For the roasted veg:
✔️2 medium courgettes, chopped in to 4cm chunks
✔️1 small aubergine, chopped in to 4cm chunks
✔️450g tomatoes, skinned and quartered
✔️1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped in to 4cm chunks
✔️1 yellow pepper, de-seeded and chopped in to 4cm chunks
✔️3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
✔️3 cloves of garlic, chopped
✔️50g black olives, chopped
✔️4 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
✔️1 heaped tsp capers
✔️50g grated gruyere or mozzarella
✔️salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
✔️30g plain flour
✔️1 bay leaf
✔️freshly grated nutmeg
✔️3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 200°/180° fan. Arrange the vegetables on a large baking tray and mix well with the oil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and roast for circa 40 minutes until they are browned and golden.
Meanwhile make the sauce by placing the milk, flour, butter and bay leaf in a saucepan, then bring it all up to simmering point, whisking all the time until you have a smooth sauce. Season with salt, pepper and a good grating of nutmeg, then turn the heat down to low and let the sauce cook for two minutes. After that, stir in the Parmesan cheese and turn off the heat.
About five minutes before the vegetables are ready, cook the rigatoni in a large pan of boiling water for exactly 6 minutes (no longer).
Next drain the rigatoni in a colander, transfer to large mixing bowl and combine with the roasted vegetables, the olives, anchovies, capers and the sauce. Now spoon one third of the mixture into an oven dish, sprinkle half the gruyere/ mozzarella on top, follow it with another third of the mixture and then the remaining gruyere/mozzarella. Finally spoon in the last third of the mixture with one handful of Parmesan sprinkled on top. Bake in the oven for another 6–10 minutes until bubbling and piping hot.
If you wanted to make this ahead of time, it will need 40 minutes in the oven to heat through from cold.