Sicilian Eggplant & Ricotta Pasta Recipe
This is yet another wonderful Italian recipe that I've adapted from Marcella Hazan's classic "Essentials of Italian Cooking". This one is good enough that my wife put a little smily face in the upper corner of the recipe and wrote "It's a keeper!". I think you'll feel the same way. We served this for friends with a wonderful citrus and avocado salas on the side and some crusty Italian bread. Fantastico!
- 1 1/2 pounds eggplant (we usually use asian eggplant, but any eggplant will do)
- About 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion sliced thinly
- 1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
- 2 cups fresh, ripe Italian plum tomatoes, skinned, seeded and cut in narrow strips (or use canned italian tomatoes and chop)
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 3 Tbsp freshly grated romano cheese
- 3 Tbsp fresh ricotta
- 10 fresh basil leaves
- 1 - 1 1/2 pounds pasta (rotini is our favorite, or try ruote di carro, fusilli, rigatoni -- or even spaghetti)
- Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese for the table
- Cut off the eggplant cap, peel it (leaving some skin if you like), and cut into 1 inch cubes. Put the cubes in a colander in the sink and sprinkle liberally with salt. Let the eggplant steep in the salt for 30-60 minutes to reduce the bitterness. (This can be 15-20 minutes if you use asian eggplant).
- Dry the eggplant by placing on paper towels and patting down with another paper towel from the top. In a large frying pan, add enough olive oil to just coat the bottom of the pan and heat to medium high. When the oil is hot, put in as many eggplant pieces as you can without packing them too tightly. Fry them for a minute or so and then turn them over. Fry on 3-4 sides and then transfer with a slotted spoon or spatula to a plate with paper towels. Continue with another batch if needed until all the eggplant is cooked.
- Put a pasta pot on the stove, bring to boil, and add and cook whichever pasta you choose according to the directions. The pasta will be cooking while you finish the sauce.
- Add the remaining olive oil (more if needed). Add the sliced onion and saute until it turns a light gold (about 3 minutes) then add the chopped garlic and cook for only 30 seconds, stirring as you cook. Add the tomato, turn up the heat to high, and cook for 8-10 minutes stirring frequently until the oil floats free from the tomato.
- Add the eggplant and a few grindings of fresh pepper, stir, and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for another couple of minutes, stirring. Taste and add kosher salt if needed.
- Drain the pasta in a colander, pour into a large serving bowl (or back in the pasta pot if you plan to serve from that), add the eggplant sauce, the grated romano, the ricotta, and the basil leaves (torn into pieces as you drop them into the bowl). Toss again, mixing the ingredients thoroughly, and serve at once with grated pamesan and crusty Italian bread on the side.
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|Amount Per Serving||%DV|
|Serving Size 334g|
|Recipe makes 4 servings|
|Calories from Fat 217||28%|
|Total Fat 24.62g||31%|
|Saturated Fat 5.59g||22%|
|Trans Fat 0.0g|
|Total Carbs 116.1g||31%|
|Dietary Fiber 9.5g||32%|