Saturday, November 25, 2006

Fusilli with Tomato, Eggplant and Bocconcini

Category: Pasta
Style: Italian
Difficulty: Easy
Portion: Serves 4

1 Japanese eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cans 14-oz whole tomatoes with juice
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
pinch of chili flakes (optional)
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, chopped
4 tbsp whipping cream
1 lb dried fusilli or other pasta (about 450g)
1 tub Bocconcini cheese, about 200g (or use fresh mozzarella)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmasan cheese)

Heat 4 to 5 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add eggplant, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, onion, sauté for another 2 minutes until fragrant. Add canned tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Stir and season with salt and pepper. Add chili flakes if desired. Simmer for about 15 minutes, add basil and cream. Lightly crush tomato with a wooden spoon.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add about 3-4 tbsp salt. Add pasta, stir around, and cook according to package instruction until al dente. Drain and return to pot. (For tips to cook pasta, read here)
Add tomato sauce to the pasta. Tear the bocconcini to small pieces and stir into the pasta. Let sit about 30 seconds and stir again. The cheese should now be nicely melting. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Bocconcini is a fresh cheese. It is sold soaked in lighty salted water. It has a very mild and delicate milk flavour. You can buy them fresh from the deli department of the supermarket or packaged in plastic tub. If you cannot find bocconcini, you can substitute with fresh mozzarella, or even pressed mozzarella (the kind used for making pizza)

No comments: