Recipe by Manami
Eggplant is sauteed in olive oil and cooking spray until its creamy soft and then tossed with pasta and cheese. A quick trip under the broiler browns the top & melts the cheese. "A dolcetto wine is delightfully dry and will make an ideal partner for this dish." Whether or not to salt and drain eggplant before cooking remains a matter of dispute, as well as whether we should peel or not peel the eggplant. As for me, I like the skin on and I like to salt and drain before cooking - when it is done this way it absorbs less oil during frying, as well as getting rid of the bitter flavor. F&W Magazine Don't forget - I didn't account for the draining time = 20-25 min. :) Originally posted on 07/17/2008 - Update: 11/08/2008 have decreased the amount of pasta and increased the heat! Hope you like it & enjoy! ;)
- 7 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 3/4 pounds)
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons salt
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes (for that added kick)
- 12 ounces ziti pasta (up to 1 lb) or 12 ounces penne (up to 1 lb)
- 1⁄2 lb fontina, grated (about 2 cups)
Directions See How It's Made
- *Before sauteeing the eggplant dice it and salt it and then let it drain. (It can be done in colander or on paper towels).This is to get rid of the bitter flavor!
- In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 4 tablespoons of the oil & a couple of pinches of red pepper flakes, over moderately high heat.
- Add the eggplant and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the eggplant is soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, parsley, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper and cook 3 minutes longer.
- Heat the broiler. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until just done, about 10 to 15 minutes; then drain.
- Toss the pasta with the eggplant, the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Add the cheese and toss again.
- Transfer the pasta to a shallow baking dish or gratin dish.
- Broil until the cheese melts and starts to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.