Creamy Ricotta and Caramelized Eggplant Rotini

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Today, I went to a “Cheese Crawl” organized by DiBruno’s to celebrate their 75th anniversary. It involved walking across Philadelphia to stop at each of their location for free samples of cheese, chocolate, and drinks among others. Surprisingly, the pouring rain didn’t stop this event from being a huge success. Each location was packed, which means that most of our time was spent waiting in line. But at least we got to wait in between aisles filled with cheeses, cured meats and other gourmet delicacies! DiBruno’s is also famous for their delicious pasta, my favorite being their lasagna (aka the cheesiest, most wonderful baked pasta layers ever). And in case you’re ever in Philly, their baked penne and orecchiette with broccoli rabe and Italian sausage are also really good options.

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Did this pasta overdose stop me from cooking some myself? Absolutely not… I decided to come up with a new dish of my own as soon as I got home, which led to this recipe that screams comfort! Though it doesn’t look like much, it’s the kind of dish that makes you feel warm inside and out, instantly lifts your spirits up, and reminds you how delicious life can taste! Just like the food equivalent to the movie “Love Actually”! When all else fails, I plan for my next meal to feature a big hot bowl of pasta tossed in a homemade sauce and topped with freshly grated cheese and I feel better.

DSC_0189For this recipe, I used some Italian Eggplant that I diced in tiny pieces to get it to caramelize faster. I then tossed it all together with a spicy ricotta mixture: so simple and yet so comforting. The creaminess of the ricotta pairs beautifully with the richness of the caramelized eggplant (would also be delicious with zucchini!) and the slight spiciness brings a kick to the dish. Bon appétit!

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Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 80g rotini pasta (or any other shape)
  • 1/2 small eggplant
  • 1/4 garlic clove
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh ricotta
  • spicy olive oil
  • 1/4 lemon, juice
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh basil (optional)

Directions:

  1. Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Meanwhile, dice the eggplant and garlic in tiny pieces. Heat some olive oil in a pan and add it all. Let it brown and caramelize while the pasta cooks.
  3. Cook the pasta for the time indicated on the packaging (about 7-8 minutes for me).
  4. Prepare the ricotta mix. In a small bowl, whisk together the fresh ricotta, drizzle of spicy oil, lemon juice, 1-2 tbsp cooking water from the pasta, and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  5. When the pasta is ready, drain it and put it back in the pot on low heat. Toss with the ricotta sauce and the grilled eggplant and stir well until everything is well coated.
  6. Garnish with freshly chopped basil and enjoy!

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Temps total: 15 minutes

Ingrédients

  • 80g de pâtes rotini (ou autre forme)
  • 1/2 petite aubergine
  • 1/4 gousse d’ail
  • 2-3 c.s de ricotta fraiche
  • huile d’olive épicée
  • 1/4 citron, jus
  • sel de mer et poivre noir fraichement moulu
  • basilic frais (optionnel)

Directions:

  1. Faites bouillir de l’eau salée dans une casserole.
  2. Pendant ce temps, coupez l’aubergine et l’ail en tout petits dès. Faites chauffer de l’huilde dans un poêle et laissez le tout colorer le temps que les pâtes cuisent.
  3. Faites cuire les pâtes pendant le temps indiqué sur l’emballage (7-8 minutes pour moi).
  4. Préparez le mélange à la ricotta. Dans un petit bol, fouettez la ricotta fraîche avec un filet d’huile pimentée, le jus de citron, 1-2 c.s d’eau de cuisson des pâtes, du sel et du poivre fraichement moulu. Gouttez et ajustez l’assaisonnement.
  5. Quand les pâtes sont cuites, égouttez les avant de les remettre dans la casserole. Ajoutez la sauce à la ricotta et l’aubergine caramélisée. Mélangez le tout énergiquement de sorte que toutes les pâtes soient bien couvertes de sauce.
  6. Optionnel: garnissez de basilic fraichement ciselé et bon appétit!
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5 thoughts on “Creamy Ricotta and Caramelized Eggplant Rotini

  1. Bonjour Julie,

    Super je rentre du marché et je vais me régaler avec cette recette. J’espère que tu vas bien et je t’embrasse,

    Marc,

    >

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