Eggplant Pasta with Ricotta and Pine Nuts

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I was never a huge fan of eggplant, (perhaps it is because my niece told me once my head looked like one). However, I won’t push eggplant away, well, let’s face it there are only a few things I won’t eat, for example rocks and glass.

Eggplant cooked and seasoned correctly can be dynamite stuff, it absorbs flavors and is nicely versatile.

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Yesterday as I wandered around markets and farm stands I came across some eggplants and remembered this pasta dish I had in San Francisco when I was quite young. It was my first year out of college and I became a flight attendant because I wanted to travel. I quit after a short while because no desire to travel was worth that awful torture. I was a horrible flight attendant and I know this because passengers told me so. Enough of going down memory lane. So today, I made the eggplant dish to the best of my memory. The things that stood out most for me was the dollop of ricotta cheese and pine nut garnish. This recipe is reminiscent of the popular caponata (without the olives).

Here is how I thought it was made,  (it came out quite good!)

One large eggplant diced

One red pepper diced

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 bunch scallions sliced

1 teaspoon sugar

2 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons capers

2 anchovies (optional, but use it anyway, they are not that bad!)

Fresh basil chopped *Added at the very end. Pay attention!

I small 8 0z. Can of tomato sauce

Ricotta cheese

Pine nuts

Olive Oil.

Salt & Pepper

I pound Capellini (angel hair) pasta

In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil and add the vegetables, hot pepper flakes, and cook until all soft, add garlic, capers and anchovies. Add the sugar and one small can of tomato sauce just to flavor (this should not be swimming in tomatoes sauce, it should have a dark pinkish color to it see photo) let it simmer.

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Cook the pasta, when done place it in the sauté pan and coat the pasta with the sauce and vegetables, add the basil and twirl high on a plate adding addition vegetables on top if need be. Place a dollop of ricotta and sprinkle with Pine nuts.

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About johncpicardi

Welcome to my blog. I am the author of the novel Oliver Pepper's Pickle and the published plays The Sweepers and Seven Rabbits on a Pole, both plays have been produced off Broadway and around the US. I am a graduate of Johnson & Wales University where I majored in Culinary arts. I have a BA from The University of Massachusetts and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. This blog is about food and food memories and every other fantastic and scrumptious thing to do with it. My appetite and passion for food is large and runs deep, sometimes its indulgent and wild and other times wholesome and simple, often humorous and always immeasurable. I grew up outside of Boston and spent many hours of my childhood in front of the TV watching Graham Kerr (The Galloping Gourmet) and Julia Child prepare all kinds of luscious meals that would make my mouth water. Other days I’d follow my mother and two grandmothers around their simple, tidy kitchens as they busily prepared hearty fragrant meals, hand-cut pastas, preserved fruits and vegetables, baked yeasty breads, spicy cookies and frosted lopsided cakes. I was there by their side asking questions and helping where needed and there were plenty of times I was ordered to leave if I was in their way. It was a given that by the time I graduated High School I would be going off to Johnson & Wales University to study Culinary Arts. Those years were fine and good. I loved the hands on creativeness of cooking whether it be the simple lesson of washing a sink full of colorful salad greens, trussing a chicken or peeling a gorgeous carrot or the complicated lessons of making a French Country Pate or Julia Child’s Cassoulet or making Brioche, it all thrilled me and my dream had arrived!
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4 Responses to Eggplant Pasta with Ricotta and Pine Nuts

  1. thank you for two great eggplant recipes! I have an eggplant and a number of these other ingredients and you have just given me the perfect solution for how to use them! thanks again, and I look forward to your next creations 🙂

    Like

  2. I’m not so keen on eggplant due to its texture, but I just might have to give this recipe a go!

    Like

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