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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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