The best part of doing the groceries at a market is the crazy amount of fresh ingredients you have to inspire your cooking! I tried this ricotta and eggplant pasta for lunch using all fresh ingredients purchased earlier in the morning from Preston Market.
To make this dish for two, I used…
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1/2 brown onion
- 1 large garlic clove
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 250g fresh pasta (can obviously use packet pasta, the fresh stuff just looked so good at the market!)
- 200g fresh ricotta
- 1 tbsp dried basil (from my Nonna – she grows and dries her own herbs!)
How to do it…
1. Lay a few sheets of paper towel in a shallow dish, dice the eggplant into 2cm pieces, put them in the dish and sprinkle with salt. Sit it aside for 30-60min, to draw out some of the moisture and take away the bitter taste eggplant can have. Then, pat the eggplant dry to remove any extra salt and moisture.
2. Finely dice the onion, and throw it onto a pot over medium heat with the oil and a little butter. Stir and cook until the onion becomes translucent, then add in the eggplant and basil, and cook for a minute or two, until the eggplant softens.
3. Throw it all into an oven proof cooking dish, along with a crushed garlic clove, and into the oven for 30 minutes at 180˚C, until the eggplant really softens and absorbs the garlic and onion flavours.
4. In the meantime, cook up and drain the pasta, then throw it back into the pot, along with the eggplant mixture (discard the garlic first!) and the ricotta, and stir over low heat until it’s all well combined and the ricotta is nice and creamy and evenly mixed through the pasta. Season with a little salt and pepper, and enjoy!