Make good use of all those delicious, ripe eggplants from your garden with this classic Sicilian recipe that also includes cheesy Abruzzese meatballs, nutty ricotta salata, fresh garlic and basil topped on tender pappardelle pasta. Whether you make it for date night, weeknights or special occasions, this elegant pasta dish tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen but can be prepared and cooked in less than one!
- Carando Abruzzese meatballs1 pack
- Pappardelle pasta1 lb.
- Olive oil1 cup
- Japanese eggplant2 lbs.
- Fresh garlic, minced2 tbsps.
- Crushed red pepper1 tsp.
- San Marzano Tomatoes, crushed1 large can
- Fresh basil, minced¼ cup
- Ricotta salata, shredded½ cup
Cook meatballs according to package instructions, reserve.
While the meatballs are cooking, slice the eggplants into about 2-inch-thick rounds, and toss with salt.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
While the water is coming to a boil, heat a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat.
Rinse the eggplants and pat dry.
Add about a third of the olive oil, to the skillet, and fry the eggplants in batches, adding oil as needed, until golden and softened.
Remove the eggplants from the pan, and add the garlic and crushed red pepper, cooking until just golden.
Add the crushed tomatoes and reduce heat to a simmer.
Cook the pappardelle according to package instructions, until al dente, and drain, reserving about one cup of pasta water.
When the pasta is done, place the eggplant and meatballs into the sauce.
Add the pasta, using some of the pasta water to loosen the sauce, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place in a serving bowl, top with the ricotta salata, and garnish with the basil.