Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage


2 red bell peppers
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut
½ cup olive oil
1 pound spicy Italian chicken sausage
8 ounces dried rigatoni
1 baby eggplant stemmed and cut 
  Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley


  • Position a rack in the oven six inches below the broiler and preheat the broiler.
  • Put the peppers on a baking sheet and put it under the broiler. Roast, turning the peppers with tongs a quarter turn every couple of minutes, until charred on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let the peppers steam for 10 minutes to loosen the skins.
  • Using a paper towel, rub the charred skins off the peppers. Carefully remove the cores, stems, and seeds, and slice the pieces lengthwise into thin strips. Reserve any liquid the peppers release.
  • Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Add the asparagus and cook for 1 minute; drain and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Cook the pasta until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain and return the pasta to the warm pot.
  • While pasta is cooking, add 3 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet the sausage was cooked in, add the eggplant, season with salt and pepper, and cook until brown and just tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the roasted peppers with any reserved liquid, asparagus, sausage, and vinegar and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add rigatoni, Parmesan, parsley, and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and stir to combine.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer to a large bowl and serve.