Pasta Baked with Grilled Eggplant, Tomato, Herbed Riccotta

(3 votes)

1 cup ricotta
2 tablespoons fresh italian parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground fennel
4 leaves fresh rosemary or 2 leaves dried rosemary, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 medium eggplant
4 tablespoons virgin olive oil
3 cups canned tomatoes in heavy puree, chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup pecorino romano, freshly grated
1/2 cup fontina cheese, coarsely shredded
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
1 tablespoon roasted garlic, chopped
1 pound penne rigate (or conchiglie rigate), (pasta shells)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Start a charcoal fire, setting the grill rack about 4 inches above the coals. If grilling is inconvenient, preheat the broiler to cook the eggplant.

Bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil in a stockpot and preheat oven to 500F.

Combine the ricotta in a small bowl with the parsley, fennel, rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

Slice the eggplant into rounds about 5/8 inch thick. Brush both sides of the eggplant with the olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Grill or broil the eggplant slices for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until they are browned and cooked through. Transfer them to a cutting board and chop coarsely.

In a mixing bowl, combine the eggplant, tomato, cream, Pecorino Romano, Fontina, red pepper, garlic, and up to 1 teaspoon salt.

Parboil the pasta for 4 minutes, drain, and toss in the bowl with the eggplant mixture.
Divide the mixture evenly among 6 to 8 individual, shallow, ceramic baking dishes ( 1 1/2 to 2 cup capacity). Put a dollop of the herbed ricotta in the center of each pasta dish, top with a portion of butter, and bake in the oven for 7-10 minutes, until brown and bubbly on top.


I loved this recipe! It was very very good.
brandy, summersville

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