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Recipe: Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

I always enjoy the “challenge” of cooking vegetarian. I use challenge in quotation marks, because it’s pretty damn easy, but I find it scares most people.

Using the fresh eggplants and mushrooms I had on hand, I decided to make a Pappardell with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu. There are a lot of simple flavors in the dish, but what really sends it over the top for me are the fresh garnishes of orange zest, parsley and ricotta cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes (peeled or skin-on)
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 TBSP chili flakes
  • Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

    Eggplant is the Key Ingredient

  • 2 TBSP kosher salt
  • 1 TBSP ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 lb. pappardelle
  • 1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • Grated orange zest
  • Fresh parsley, minced

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Put the olive oil in a large skillet (I used a Dutch oven) over medium-high heat. When oil is heated, saute the onion and garlic for 1 minute, careful not to let the garlic to burn.
  3. Add the eggplant, chili flakes and Kosher salt. Lower the heat to medium. Saute, stirring occasionally until the eggplant is nearly tender.
  4. Add the red pepper and mushrooms then cook for 3 or 4 more minutes. Pour in the red wine, and continue to cook until the eggplant is fully tender. Reduce heat to very low so ragu comes to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu

    Simmering the Veggies in a Dutch Oven

  6. Boil the pasta according to package directions (usually about 5 minutes). Drain the pasta, but reserve 1 cup of the water. Toss the noodles with the ragu, gradually mixi in some or all of the pasta water to achieve a light glaze on the noodles.
  7. Plate the pasta then divide the ricotta, placing a few dabs on each plate. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, orange zest, parsley and black pepper then serve.

This is a delicious vegetarian dish full of some classic flavors. The veggies, garnishes, cheeses and pasta work together in perfect harmony.

If you can’t find or make pappardelle, I would suggest boiling lasagna then cutting it into strips. Make sure you use all of the garnishes, they really elevate this Pappardelle with Eggplant and Mushroom Ragu.

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6 Comments

Posted by on June 18, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Recipe: Turkey Eggplant Lasagna

Turkey Eggplant Lasagna

Turkey Eggplant Lasagna

Lasagna is one of the best family-style meals out there. However, it’s loaded with carbs and calories so here’s a recipe that should cut down on both.

Instead of using pasta, thinly sliced eggplant serves as the layers. I also add some cauliflower to give this lasagna a little bit of a crunch.

  • 6 TBSP Olive oil
  • 3 TBSP Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup cauliflower
  • 1 hardboiled egg
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Broiling the Eggplant

    Broiling the Eggplant

  • 1/4 red onion, minced
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 2 large eggplants, cut lengthwise into thin sheets
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, drained
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Mix the oil with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Then, brush eggplant sheets with oil and spices mixture.
  2. Lay the eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet (you will have to do this more than once). Broil them 2 inches from the flame for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Turkey-Cauliflower Saute

    Turkey-Cauliflower Saute

  4. Remove from home and turn to the other side brushing with the oil mixture and broiling for 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Repeat until all of eggplant is broiled then set oven to 350F.
  6. In the meantime, saute ground turkey, cauliflower, garlic, shallots and red onion in a medium-sized pan. Cook until turkey meat is browned then add in chopped hardboiled egg.
  7. Once all ingredients are cooked, place one-third of the eggplant sheets in a wide, shallow 2- or 3-quart casserole dish.
  8. Layer with mozzarella, parmesan, ricotta, ground turkey mix and pasta sauce.
  9. Repeat the layering two additional times then top with mozzarella.
  10. Cover and bake for 20 to 25 minutes then serve.

This is recipe that will feed you and your family of 4 to 6. You won’t even notice that it’s not pasta, but eggplant that makes up most of the dish.

You can also substitute any ground meat of your choosing if you don’t want to use turkey. It may not be 100% authentic Italian, but it will do in a pinch and it’s sure to please most people’s palettes.

Photos courtesy of Miguel Solorzano Photography.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Cookin'

 

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