Rigatoni with Fried Eggplant, Tomato, Oregano and Ricotta Cheese

12 ounces rigatoni
2 quarts soy oil
1 eggplant medium, diced
2 teaspoons salt
3 ounces olive oil
1 teaspooon oregano
4 basil leaves, julienne
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 clove garlic, sliced thin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons parmigiano grated
3 tablespoons ricotta fresh
salt and pepper to taste

Toss the diced eggplant in the salt and press in a colander for 10-15 minutes.

In a medium size saucepan, heat soy oil to 350 degrees. Fry the eggplant until they have a deep golden color. Lay on paper towels and reserve. Cook the pasta in 1 gallon of salted water.

While that is cooking, heat a medium-size sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan, and lightly sauté the garlic until it is lightly golden on the edges. Add the cherry tomatoes, crushed red pepper and fresh oregano, and season lightly with salt and fresh pepper. Allow the juices to be released from the tomato, reducing the heat as they are released. Add the cooked pasta, and toss in the sauce. Add the eggplant and basil. Sprinkle with the grated parmigiano and top with the fresh ricotta.



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