Rigatoni with Zucchini and Eggplant

by on January 29, 2006
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If you’re a vegan and you’re invited to a dinner, banquet, or other large party involving food, you usually have two choices: either eat before you go and find a lettuce leaf to nibble on or offer to bring some of the food. Last night I attended a dinner at our local Unitarian Universalist church, and one of the great things about this group of people is that there’s almost always someone else bringing a vegan dish. Last night was no exception, but, since most of the food was provided by a local barbecue place, I offered to help out with a couple more vegan options.

Rigatoni with Zucchini and Eggplant
For a main dish, I chose to update one of my old favorites, Rigatoni with Zucchini and Eggplant. (The photo above is not a good representation of the dish. Though there is a high proportion of vegetables to pasta, there really is more pasta than the photo shows!)

This is a layered pasta dish, similar to lasagna, that doesn’t really stay layered when you dish it up. Tofu stands in for ricotta cheese, and the nutritional yeast (available in natural food stores) lends a great cheesy taste. The original recipe used jarred spaghetti sauce, but I wanted a fresher taste, so I used Muir Glen Fire Roasted tomatoes. If you haven’t tried these, you must! They have a lovely sweet, smoky taste. You can find them in natural food stores or in the organic/natural section of some supermarkets.

This is a great dish to serve to vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Unfortunately, if you bring it to the Unitarian church in my town, you won’t have any leftovers to bring home!

Click here to go to the updated version of this recipe.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous February 28, 2010 at 12:03 am

I was wondering if i should use medium-firm or firm tofu? any suggestions / does it make a difference? Thanks


2 SusanV February 28, 2010 at 12:25 am

I usually use firm tofu but either one will do. Hope you enjoy it!


3 Laura August 18, 2010 at 9:27 am

Hi Susan,

First recipe I tried on your site and it was everything I hoped it would be!
The taste is outstanding!!

Didn’t use pine nuts because they are so darn expensive and couldn’t find any fire roasted diced tomatoes so I just used regular canned diced tomatoes and it still turned out fantastic!!

Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.



4 VeganInTheKitchen September 13, 2010 at 10:46 pm

We had this tonight, and it was delicious! When my kids came in from playing outside with my husband, they asked if I was cooking pizza. They said it smelled good. 🙂 I didn’t have canned tomatoes on hand, so subbed tomato/olive spaghetti sauce. I also had bowtie pasta. Thanks again for another winning recipe!


5 Alicia Jackson January 26, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Hi Susan! I made this last week and three meat-eating men devoured it. One even asked me for the recipe, and he couldn’t believe it when he found out it was vegan and gluten-free (not to mention nearly fat free). I left out the tofu because I avoid soy and I added 1 cup of nutritional yeast, which made it a little dry so I drizzled some marinara on the top to compensate. It came out creamy, bubbly, and wonderful. Thank you, thank you, thankyou!


6 Lisa January 31, 2011 at 11:22 am

Hi Everyone,

Delicious Recipe!
Is there a fatfree vegan recipe for “like” italian bread?


7 Caroline April 28, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Susan, would you please add a printer-friendly link to this recipe? Thanks!


8 Jacki January 29, 2012 at 9:59 pm

looks delish! there are a lot of vegans at my unitarian church, too. 🙂


9 Ilene February 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm

This was delicious. I made one change, omitted pine nuts because I’m allergic to them and added mushrooms. The whole house smells wonderful now. Thanks.



10 Maggie January 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Are the pine nuts necessary (I have a son who dislikes any sort of nuts) & will the elimination of them have a negative effect on the outcome of this? I would assume the fat content would be lower as a result? ~ Thanks.


11 Susan Voisin January 17, 2013 at 3:11 pm

No, they’re really optional. I’m not sure of the exact amount of fat they add, but they do add some, so there will be less fat.


12 jenny k January 17, 2013 at 1:52 pm

The Muir Glen organic fire roasted tomatoes are now carried at Costo by the 6 pack!


13 Beth Whitaker January 17, 2013 at 3:42 pm

I love all your recipes. We started with Dr Furhman’s life plan June 15th. It is wonderful having your blog to find great recipes. Thank you for helping me and I know many, many others. You are just wonderful.


14 Susan Voisin January 17, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Wow, Beth, I’m so touched and happy that I could help. Thank you!


15 KathyW January 18, 2013 at 4:50 am

Aside from the pine nuts, tofu and nutritional yeast, this is the way I usually make ratatouille. I’ve never used nutritional yeast before but may give it a whirl. I’m definitely going to try this recipe with the tofu… thanks for sharing.


16 Cindy March 3, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Yum! Thanks, you have been a lifesaver with your great recipes! I started with Dr. Esselstyn diet three months ago, just to avoid going on medication for high blood pressure, diabetics and high cholesterol. I am happy to say all three have come down to a healthy range and I’ve lost 17 lbs! Thanks so much!


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