Eggplant, pasta, and Ricotta Salata. With the abundance of fresh summer tomatoes and eggplants, this recipe comes together well and the ricotta Salata just gives the final touch that will leave you wanting more.
Italy is rich in recipes. Each region has its own specialty and pride itself on the recipes that they are sharing with the world. Ricotta Salata is one of their specialty. An Italian cheese made from sheep milk. Milk richer on fat content and rich in protein. The milk which is pressed and salted is let to be rested for up to 90 days. The salt removes up to 50% of the water content, giving us a harder cheese that can be grated. A specialty of Southern Italy.
This recipe is super easy to make, just a few suggestions to ensure great success. while preparing it.
I used the smaller size eggplants and diced them to about 1″ squares. I used them right the way and not let them sit covered with salt for one hour.
Used fresh tomatoes, which I removed the skin by blanching them for a couple of minutes. Before placing them in the boiling water, I made a small incision on the button and all around the middle part of the tomato. This process facilitates removing the outer skin away from the pulp.
The recipe that I am sharing today is from a dear friend of mine, Luis. He and I have been friends since childhood. He lives in the Abruzzi region of Italy, on the Adriatic sea. Great place that offers so much. You can go from the sandy beaches to the height of the Appennine Mountains and everything in between. Great food in each nook and cranny of the region.
Eggplant, Pasta and Ricotta Salata
- 30 mins total
- 10 mins prep
- 20 mins cook
- serves 4 people
5 fresh tomatoes
5 small eggplants, cut into 1-inch dices
½ large onion finely chopped
1 pound penne or farfalle pasta
ricotta salata finely grated
In a large pot of boiling water add the tomatoes that you will have gently scored a X on the bottom and a fine line all around the middle. Blanch for a couple of minutes until you will see the skin pulling away from the tomato meat. Drain and rinse under cold water. Remove the skin and pass the tomatoes thru a food mill or crush with a potato masher. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat add the olive oil and cook the finely chopped onion until they become translucent.
Add the eggplant to the onion and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the tomato and some water (1/4 cup) to continue the cooking process. Season lightly with salt, very little.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to packaging instruction and drain 2 minutes prior to being al dente. Reserve cooking water.
Add the pasta to the eggplant tomato sauce and coat well with the sauce Add some of the cooking water if too dry.
Serve the pasta into a bowl and sprinkle a generous amount of ricotta salata over it.
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