Monday, September 26, 2011

Fettuccine with Spinach, Ricotta, and Grilled Eggplant

I'm in love. The ricotta cheese from Keepsake Dairy is just so wonderful, I can't even handle it. I wanted to make a recipe that showcased it (and hopefully will eventually make lemon ricotta muffins in the near future), and this also gave me the opportunity to use up the ginormous eggplant from the farm. I didn't cook it on the grill, just on my grill pan. This was pretty good. It could do with a little more seasoning - the red pepper really helped. And just as I hoped, the ricotta was wonderful with it.

I used a spinach pasta shaped like olive leaves because it was on sale at Wegmans and seemed appropriate to the dish, and I did not have fettuccine. Fair enough, right? Anyway, I don't think I would make this again, but I would eat it again.


Fettuccine with Spinach, Ricotta, and Grilled Eggplant
Real Simple, July 2011

2 small eggplants -- (1 1/2 pounds total) sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil -- plus more for serving
kosher salt and black pepper
16 ounces fresh fettuccine -- (16 to 18)
5 ounces baby spinach -- (6 cups)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 cup ricotta
crushed red pepper -- (optional)

1. Heat grill to medium. Brush the eggplant with the oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Grill until tender, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces.

2. Meanwhile, cook the fettuccine according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water; drain the fettuccine and return it to the pot.

3. Add the eggplant, spinach, vinegar, 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to the fettuccine and toss to combine. (Add more cooking water if the fettuccine seems dry.) Serve topped with the ricotta and, if desired, red pepper, and additional oil.

Servings: 4

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