Soak 1 pound cubed eggplant in warm salted water, about 15 minutes, then drain and squeeze dry. Season 1 cup flour with salt and pepper in a bowl. Beat 2 eggs with 1/2 cup milk in another bowl. Mix 1 1/2 cups flour and 1/2 cup grated parmesan in a third bowl. Dip the eggplant in the seasoned flour, the egg and then the flour-cheese mixture. Fry in 1/4 inch olive oil over medium-high heat until golden; drain on paper towels. Mix with 4 cups Perfect Marinara Sauce, recipe follows. Toss with rigatoni.
Combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, 6 thinly sliced garlic cloves and a pinch of red pepper flakes in a large skillet and cook over medium-low heat until the garlic is golden, about 6 minutes. Crush a 28-ounce can of San Marzano plum tomatoes into the skillet with your hands; rinse the can with about 1 cup water and add to the sauce. Add a handful of torn basil leaves and season with salt. Increase the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until thick, 20 to 25 minutes. Toss with 1 pound cooked pasta (makes 4 cups sauce).
Photograph by Kang Kim
Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine