Saturday, April 8, 2017

Penne Rigate e Melanzane al Salsa di Pomodoro

     A Simple Italian Red Sauce and Eggplant Pasta!
     Today's pasta is an easy sauté recipe.  The traditional Italian Tomato Sauce is made ahead of time.  All that needs to be done is to sauté the eggplant before adding the sauce and pasta!
    The first Italian restaurant that I apprenticed in actually had Pasta e Melanzane al Salsa di Pomodoro on the lunch menu.  The chef was Sicilian and his sauces were supreme.  What sounded like a simple lunch pasta on the menu actually was quite a lively tasting experience.  The sautéed eggplant also makes this pasta light on the tummy, which is perfect for guests that do lunch while on the go.

     Salsa di Pomodoro:
     Follow the link to the recipe in this website. 
     • Salsa di Pomodoro

     Penne e Melanzane al Salsa di Pomodoro Recipe:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     Like many Italian pasta recipes, the sauce can be prepared in the same amount of time that is takes to cook the pasta al dente.
     Step 1:  Place a small pot of water over medium high heat.
     Bring the water to a gentle boil.
     Add 1 portion of Penne Rigate Pasta.
     Boil the pasta till it is al dente.
     *Penne Rigate takes about 10 minutes to cook.  The eggplant and tomato sauce can be prepared while the pasta cooks!
     Step 2:  Heat a wide sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil.
     Add 1 chopped garlic clove.
     Sauté the till the garlic is a light golden color.
     Step 3:  Add 1 cup of thin bite size pieces of peeled eggplant.  (The eggplant pieces should be about 3/4" square and 3/16" thick.
     Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
     Sauté till the eggplant is tender and golden brown highlights appear.
     Step 4:  Add 1 1/2 cups of Salsa di Pomodoro.
     Bring the sauce to a simmer.
     Step 5:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Keep the eggplant and tomato sauce warm till the pasta finishes cooking.
     Step 6:  When the Penne Rigate Pasta is cooked al dente, drain the water off of the pasta.
     Add the pasta to the sauce in the sauté pan.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Step 7:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Mound the Penne Rigate e Melanzane al Salsa di Pomodoro on the center of a plate.
     Sprinkle 1 or 2 tablespoons of finely grated Parmigiana Cheese over the pasta.
     Serve with garlic bread on the side.

     The wine in the background is a 2004 Cabezac French Domaine vin de pays val du cesse.  This Cabezac Domaine is an interesting Languedoc Region Zinfandel and Merlot blend that goes well with red sauce pasta, as it should, because the Zinfandel Grape varietal is native to Italy.  Cabezac wines are worth looking into!  

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