Vegetarian Pasta

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Author: Jody Kirkley

The eggplant takes the place of meat in this recipe. Try it, you’ll like it.

Serves:

INGREDIENTS

1 pound, angel hair nests
1 medium, eggplant – peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 zucchini – diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large, onion – chopped fine
5 cloves, garlic – chopped fine
1 teaspoon, red pepper flakes – or to taste
1 yellow bell pepper – chopped
1 red bell pepper – chopped
1 cup, cherry tomatoes – cut in half
1/2 cup, italian parsley – chopped
1/2 cup, il Fustino Extra Virgin olive oil (preferably Sicilian)
2 tablespoons, all-purpose flour
1 cup, Vegetable broth
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
parmesan cheese – grated
1/2 cup, ricotta salata or feta cheese – optional

METHOD

  1. Liberally salt the eggplant, toss and place in a colander to drain while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Do not rinse.
  2. In a large, high sided non-stick frying pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add eggplant and fry, tossing occasionally, until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  3. In the same pan, add zucchini, sprinkle with a bit of salt and fry until lightly golden about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  4. Pour off all but 1 Tablespoon of oil. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and stir for 30 seconds. Add flour and cook for one minute.
  5. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. If the sauce appears too thick add more broth.
  6. Add yellow and red peppers and tomatoes. Squeeze some of the tomatoes to release the juice. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat until pasta is done.
  7. Bring plenty of salted water to a boil in a 12 inch, steep sided frying pan.
  8. Add angel hair nests, one at a time making one layer, do not crowd or allow to overlap. There should be 3 to 4 nests per person. They should all fit
  9. Cook the nests until they begin to come apart slightly (about 8 minutes).
  10. Add 1/2 of the parsley to the sauce and stir it in. If using, add the ricotta salata or the feta and stir to combine.
  11. Lift each nest with a slotted spoon and place 3-4 nests in an individual pasta bowl and top with a bit of the sauce.
  12. Finish with a spoonful of Parmesan and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
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